How to Enroll In the Right Welding Technical School near Welch West Virginia
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Welch WV is an important first step to beginning 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Welch WV.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Welch WV employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Welch WV area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Welch WV for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Welch WV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Welch WV contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Welch WV welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Welch WV home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Welch WV, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Welch WV area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Welch WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Welch West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Welch, West Virginia
Welch was incorporated in 1893 and named after Isaiah A. Welch, a former captain in the Confederate States Army who came to the region as a surveyor, and helped establish the plan for the beginning of a new town at the confluence of the Tug and Elkhorn rivers.
Welch was made the county seat of McDowell County in an election by county citizens in 1892 even before Welch was incorporated as a city. The previous county seat was in Perryville (now English) on present day West Virginia Route 83 along the Dry Fork. Results of the election were contested so to avoid violence county records were secretly moved from Perryville to Welch at night in two wagons by James A. Strother and Trigg Tabor.
On March 2, 1921, the Welch City Council met to discuss impeachment of then Mayor J. H. Whitt. Whitt showed up at the meeting and disrupted the proceedings. The Welch City Council then asked the McDowell Co. Sheriff's Dept. to investigate Whitt. Later that same day, Mayor Whitt shot and killed McDowell County Deputy Sheriff William Johnson Tabor who was investigating the matter. Mayor Whitt was arrested and charged with murder but won acquittal at his trial (allegedly based on perjured testimony). Whitt left the area for parts unknown on September 27, 1921.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Welch WV
Choosing the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in How Many Years Of College To Be A Welder. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Welch WV.