How to Choose the Right Welder Training Class near West Union West Virginia
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near West Union WV is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the West Union WV.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily 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 complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous West Union WV employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds 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 local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the West Union WV area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in West Union WV for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the West Union WV welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of West Union WV contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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 West Union WV welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your West Union WV home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near West Union WV, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater West Union WV area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in West Union WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the West Union West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
West Virginia High School Football State Championships and playoff history
The West Virginia High School Football State Championships have been held since the early 1900s. The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, WVSSAC began its formal recognition of WV State Football Championships in 1937 with the state's sports writers' vote. The WVSSAC began a class system, dividing larger and smaller schools in 1947. WVSSAC official playoff games began in 1948. Prior to the WVSSAC's involvement in an official playoff, there were other systems in play. From 1916 to 1955 the WVSSAC was called the West Virginia Athletic Association.
In the early 1900s, teams claimed state titles by virtue of their records against other WV schools. Some of the major newspapers would have input as well. Often coaches would contact one another and arrange championship games themselves. This system may have been flawed, but it was what most WV schools used for at least 33 years.
Before Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954, high school football was segregated just like the schools. About 45 colored schools existed in WV. More than 25 black school football programs existed in West Virginia during segregation. In 1914, WV black leaders came together and formed what would become the West Virginia Athletic Union (WVAU), which would govern high school athletic championships in WV for the African American students. The WVAU ceased to exist in 1956 as only two schools remained in the organization.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School West Union WV
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where Can I Learn To Weld. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Union WV.