How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Webster Wisconsin
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Webster WI is an important 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 best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Webster WI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Webster WI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Webster WI area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Webster WI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Webster WI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Webster WI contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Webster WI welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Webster WI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Webster WI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Webster WI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide 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 use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment 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 find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Webster WI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Webster Wisconsin area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Pick the Best Welding Technical Program Webster WI
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder Certification Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Webster WI.