Welder Training Schools near Des Moines IA 50301

How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Des Moines Iowa 

Des Moines IA welder working on pipeSelecting the ideal welding technical school near Des Moines IA is an essential 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 select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to establish 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 multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in Des Moines IA.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Iowa technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by Iowa 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.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Des Moines IA.

Welder Certification Choices

Des Moines IA electrician welding poleThere are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Des Moines IA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain kinds of welds
  • Operate according to contract specifications

As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Des Moines IA employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.

Online Welding Training

Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific Des Moines IA area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

How to Pick a Welding Vocational School

Des Moines IA construction worker weldingOnce you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Des Moines IA area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for Des Moines IA non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other Des Moines IA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the local welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of  Des Moines IA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Des Moines IA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Des Moines IA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will desire to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the  Des Moines IA area welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire 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 several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Des Moines IA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.

Why Did You Want to Become a Welder?

When prepping to interview for a Welder job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask Welder applicants is "What made you choose Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a Welding Tech, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables 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 profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent Welder and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

Choose the Best Welding Vocational Program near Des Moines IA

Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Des Moines IA.

About Des Moines Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines /dɪˈmɔɪn/ ( listen) is the capital and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small part of the city extends into Warren County.[7] It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines, which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857.[8] It is on and named after the Des Moines River, which likely was adapted from the French colonial name, Rivière des Moines, meaning "River of the Monks". The city's population was 203,433 as of the 2010 census.[9] The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 89th in terms of population in the United States with 634,725 residents according to the 2016 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.[10]

Des Moines is a major center of the U.S. insurance industry, and has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. The city was credited as the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article and named the third-largest "insurance capital" of the world. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, Voya Financial, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, ACE Limited, Marsh, Monsanto, and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metropolitan area. In recent years, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and Facebook[11][12] have built data-processing and logistical facilities in the Des Moines area. Forbes ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business" in both 2010 and 2013.[13] In 2014, NBC ranked Des Moines as the "Wealthiest City in America" according to its criteria.[14]

Des Moines is an important city in U.S. presidential politics; as the state's capital, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle. Many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times said, "If you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines."[15]

Des Moines takes its name from Fort Des Moines (1843–46), which was named for the Des Moines River. This was adopted from the name given by French colonists. "Des Moines" (pronounced [de.mwan] ( listen), formerly French pronunciation: ​[de.mwɛn]) translates literally to either "from the monks" or "of the monks". The historian Virgil Vogel claimed that the name was derived from Moingona, the Algonquian clan name for "Loon", one of the clans of the local Native American people.[16]

 

 

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