Welder Training Schools near Ames IA 50010

How to Enroll In a Welding Training Class near Ames Iowa 

Ames IA welder working on pipeLocating the right welder school near Ames IA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes

There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Ames IA.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Iowa technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by Iowa community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder in Ames IA.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Ames IA electrician welding poleThere are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Ames IA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Operate in compliance with contract specifications

As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Ames IA employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.

Online Welding Training

Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain Ames IA area community colleges and technical schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 performed online. These skills need 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 knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

How to Choose a Welding Tech School

Ames IA construction worker weldingAfter you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Ames IA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education 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 technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose 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 a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify 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 receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for Ames IA non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other Ames IA 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding 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 start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of  Ames IA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Ames IA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance 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 program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Ames IA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the  Ames IA area welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ames IA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Why Did You Want to Be a Welding Professional?

When preparing to interview for a Welding job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask Welding applicants is "What made you pick Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welder, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

Choose the Ideal Welding Tech Program near Ames IA

Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Ames IA.

About Ames Iowa

Ames, Iowa

Ames is a city located in the central part of Story County, Iowa, United States. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of Des Moines, and had a 2010 population of 58,965. The U.S. Census Bureau designates the Ames metropolitan statistical area as encompassing all of Story County; combined with the Boone, Iowa micropolitan statistical area (Boone County, Iowa), the pair make up the larger Ames-Boone combined statistical area. While Ames is the largest city in Story County, the county seat is in the nearby city of Nevada 8 miles (13 km) east of Ames.

Ames is the home of Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU), a public research institution with leading Agriculture, Design, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine colleges. ISU is the nation's first designated land-grant university,[6] and the birthplace of the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, the world's first electronic digital computer.[7] Ames hosts one of two national sites for the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which comprises the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics.[8] Ames is also the home of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service's National Animal Disease Center.[9] NADC is the largest federal animal disease center in the U.S., conducting research aimed at solving animal health and food safety problems faced by livestock producers and the public. Ames has the headquarters for the Iowa Department of Transportation.

In 2010, Ames was ranked ninth on CNNMoney.com "Best Places to Live" list.[10]

The city was founded in 1864 as a station stop on the Cedar Rapids and Missouri Railroad and was named after 19th century U.S. Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, who was influential in the building of the transcontinental railroad.[11] Ames was founded by local resident Cynthia Olive Duff (née Kellogg) and railroad magnate John Insley Blair,[12] near a location that was deemed favorable for a railroad crossing of the Skunk River.

 

 

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