How to Enroll In a Welder Training Class near Franklin Indiana
Selecting the right welding school near Franklin IN is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 chosen welding 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 Programs
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in Franklin IN.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Indiana technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly 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 finish and are usually offered by Indiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder in Franklin IN.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Franklin IN employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Franklin IN employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific Franklin IN area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Franklin IN area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Franklin IN non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other Franklin IN metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Franklin IN contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Franklin IN welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Franklin IN home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the Franklin IN area welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Franklin IN, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Be a Welder?When preparing to interview for a Welder job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Welder applicants is "What drove you to select Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Welding Tech, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Welder and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best Welding Trade School near Franklin IN
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Franklin IN.
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