How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Lehigh Iowa
Finding the ideal welding technical school near Lehigh IA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in Lehigh IA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Iowa technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by Iowa community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder in Lehigh IA.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Lehigh IA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Lehigh IA employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain Lehigh IA area community colleges and trade schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Lehigh IA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish 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 tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for Lehigh IA non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined 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 considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other Lehigh IA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lehigh IA employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Lehigh IA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Lehigh IA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the Lehigh IA area welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lehigh IA, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Why Did You Want to Be a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welding job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask Welder candidates is "What compelled you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional Welder and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech School near Lehigh IA
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lehigh IA.
About Lehigh Iowa
Lehigh is a city in Webster County, Iowa, United States. The population was 416 at the 2010 census.
Located in a valley, Lehigh is divided in two by the Des Moines River, unusual for such a small town. Originally the two halves of Lehigh were two separate towns. While the town on the west side of the River was always called Lehigh, the east town was called Slabtown, and a piece of history marks the east side's roots––a sign that hangs over the playground with the words "Slabtown Traders," perhaps alluding to the flea market that occurs there every summer during Lehigh River Days. The "Slabtown Traders" sign was blown over by a gust of wind in the summer of 2010. It survived several floods while being located on River St. Lehigh was surrounded by coal mines until the early 20th century and home to a large clay sewer pipe factory until the 1980s. Dolliver State Park, Brushy Creek State Recreation Area and Woodman Hollow State Preserve are located within a few miles of the town.
Lehigh's first settlers, a Mr. Reed and Mr. Wright, set up a steam sawmill on the site in 1855. Originally, the town was named Slabtown because slabs, scrap from the mill, were used in construction. By 1870, there was a Methodist church and a school, and Oliver Tyson had purchased the mill and expanded it, adding a flour mill. Soon after this, Tyson opened a store. The town was later renamed Lehigh, comparing the local coal veins to those of Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley.
In 1871, W. C. Wilson of Webster City opened a coal mine in Lehigh and formed the Crooked Creek Railroad and Coal Company. The company built a 3-foot gauge rail line from Judd, on the Illinois Central Railroad 8.5 miles south to the mines, including a 370-foot wooden truss bridge across the Des Moines River. The line was later extended to Webster City. By 1894, the company had opened 5 mines, all using longwall mining. The Webster Coal and Land Company operated a mine near Lehigh from 1899 to 1902.
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