How to Enroll In the Right Welding Training Program near Whitehall Pennsylvania
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Whitehall PA is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Whitehall PA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Whitehall PA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Whitehall PA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Whitehall PA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Whitehall PA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Whitehall PA employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Whitehall PA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Whitehall PA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitehall PA, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Whitehall PA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Whitehall PA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Whitehall Pennsylvania area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
Whitehall Township is a first class township with home rule status in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state.
The Province of Pennsylvania was created in 1681 when King Charles II granted a tract of land in the New World to William Penn. After the death of William Penn, his sons, John, Thomas and Richard, became the owners of Pennsylvania. The Delaware Indians deeded that part of Lehigh County lying between the Lehigh (South) Mountain and the Blue Mountains to Penn’s sons in 1736.
A wave of immigrants from Germany’s Palatinate settled in Whitehall Township, the first being Jacob Kohler, who settled in the vicinity of Egypt about 1728. The settlers staked their claim on the lands by applying to the Penn's for a land warrant. They cleared the land for farming and established churches around which villages grew.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School Whitehall PA
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Coded Welder Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Whitehall PA.
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