How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Class near Schererville Indiana
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Schererville IN is an essential first step to launching 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 reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in Schererville IN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Indiana technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 Indiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder in Schererville IN.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Schererville IN employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Schererville IN employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific Schererville IN area community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis 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 performed online. These skills must 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 knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Schererville IN area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for Schererville 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.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Schererville IN 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the local 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 crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate could 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Schererville IN employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Schererville IN welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Schererville IN home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the Schererville IN area welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Schererville IN, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welder job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Welder applicants is "What made you pick Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent Welder and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Right Welding Tech Program near Schererville IN
Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Schererville IN.
About Schererville Indiana
Schererville is a town in St. John Township, Lake County, Indiana, United States. The population was 29,243 at the 2010 census.
Long before Indiana became a state, long before the founding of Schererville, people called the area the "Crossroads," as several Native American trails intersected here, that later became routes for the wagons of settlers traveling west.
One of those settlers was Nicholas Scherer, born in 1830 at Dilsburg, today part of Heusweiler district, Saarland, southwest Germany, who arrived in the U.S. in 1846. When he came to this place at the southern tip of Lake Michigan in 1865, he founded the community that bears his name.
Today, trails still cross at Schererville, the modern trails of a motorized society, U.S. Highways 41 and 30. Nearby are newer trails, I-80/94 and I-65. All these are primary transcontinental routes and gives Schererville its slogan: "Crossroads of the Nation."
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