How to Enroll In a Welder Trade School near Kokomo Indiana
Selecting the right welder school near Kokomo IN is an important first step to starting 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 develop a list of qualifications that your chosen welding 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 Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in Kokomo IN.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Indiana trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. 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 working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by Indiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Kokomo IN.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Kokomo IN employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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 various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Kokomo IN employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain Kokomo IN area community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant 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 performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Kokomo IN area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Kokomo IN schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various Kokomo IN metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Kokomo IN contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Kokomo IN welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Kokomo IN home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the Kokomo IN area welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kokomo IN, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welding job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to pick Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Welding Tech, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent Welder and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech Program near Kokomo IN
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current 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. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Kokomo IN.
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