How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Wausau Wisconsin
Finding the ideal welder school near Wausau WI is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Wausau WI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wausau WI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. 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
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Wausau WI area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Wausau WI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Wausau WI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Wausau WI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Wausau WI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Wausau WI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out 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. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wausau WI, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wausau WI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Wausau WI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Wausau Wisconsin area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city into east and west. The city's suburbs include Schofield, Weston, Brokaw, Rib Mountain, Kronenwetter, and Rothschild.
As of the 2010 census, Wausau had a population of 39,106. It is the core city of the Wausau Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes all of Marathon County and had a population of 134,063 at the 2010 census.
This area was occupied for thousands of years by succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples. The historic Ojibwe (also known in the United States as the Chippewa) occupied it in the period of European encounter. They had a lucrative fur trade for decades with French colonists and French Canadians. After the French and Indian War this trade was dominated by British-American trappers from the eastern seaboard.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade School Wausau WI
Selecting the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Night Welding Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short 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 school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wausau WI.