How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Webster Springs West Virginia
Enrolling in the right welder technical school near Webster Springs WV is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Webster Springs WV.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Webster Springs WV employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Webster Springs WV area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Webster Springs WV for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Webster Springs WV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Webster Springs WV employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Webster Springs WV welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Webster Springs WV home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Webster Springs WV, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Webster Springs WV area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Webster Springs WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Webster Springs West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Webster Springs, West Virginia
Addison, commonly known as Webster Springs, is a town in Webster County, West Virginia, United States. Although it was incorporated as Addison in 1892, it is more frequently referred to as Webster Springs, the name of the town's post office. It was named Addison McLaughlin, upon whose land the town was originally laid out. The population was 776 at the 2010 census.
Webster Springs sits at the confluence of the Elk and Back Fork of the Elk Rivers. The town has numerous shops, retail stores, grocery stores, pharmacies, a motel, and several restaurants. Government offices for the municipality, county, and state are available in the town. The town is served by the Addison Public Library and fire service is provided by the Webster Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
The name of the town is officially "Addison", but the community is most often referred to by the name of its post office, "Webster Springs". It also labeled on some maps as "Addison", and some as "Webster Springs". The unofficial name has gone so far that the county commission's letterhead reads "Webster Springs," rather than "Addison", which it had previously.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Webster Springs WV
Selecting the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Online Classes. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Webster Springs WV.