How to Select a Welder Certification Class near Westville Indiana
Enrolling in the ideal welding vocational school near Westville IN is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 Training Courses
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in Westville IN.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Indiana trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by Indiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Westville IN.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Westville IN employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Westville IN employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by specific Westville IN area community colleges and technical schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Pick a Welding Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Westville IN area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered for Westville IN non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various Westville 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Westville IN employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Westville IN welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Westville IN home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the Westville IN area welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westville IN, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask Welder applicants is "What drove you to pick Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welder, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Welding, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Pick the Right Welding Tech Program near Westville IN
Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Westville IN.
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