How to Select a Welding Training Class near Lakeville Indiana
Choosing the right welding school near Lakeville IN is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible 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 Training Programs
There are several options to receive 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in Lakeville IN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Indiana technical and trade 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by Indiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Lakeville IN.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Lakeville IN employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Lakeville IN employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain Lakeville IN area community colleges and technical schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Lakeville IN area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types 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, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for Lakeville IN 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 Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other Lakeville IN metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop 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 complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lakeville IN contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Lakeville IN welding professional 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 need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Lakeville IN home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the Lakeville IN area welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the instructors 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 trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lakeville IN, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Welder?When preparing to interview for a Welding position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Welding prospects is "What made you select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Welding, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional Welder and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Find the Best Welding Technical School near Lakeville IN
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lakeville IN.
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