How to Choose a Welder Training Class near Robins Iowa
Locating the right welding trade school near Robins IA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in Robins IA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Iowa technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by Iowa community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing 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 potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Robins IA.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Robins IA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Robins IA employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various Robins IA area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Robins IA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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 verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for Robins IA schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various Robins IA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Robins IA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Robins IA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Robins IA 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 especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the Robins IA area welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Robins IA, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask Welding applicants is "What made you select Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being 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 a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech Program near Robins IA
Selecting the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Robins IA.
About Robins Iowa
Robins is a city in Linn County, Iowa, United States. The population was 3,142 at the 2010 census. It is a suburb of Cedar Rapids and part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Robins is located at 42°4′22″N 91°40′7″W / 42.07278°N 91.66861°W / 42.07278; -91.66861 (42.072916, -91.668538).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.84 square miles (15.13 km2), of which, 5.83 square miles (15.10 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,142 people, 1,034 households, and 911 families residing in the city. The population density was 538.9 inhabitants per square mile (208.1/km2). There were 1,072 housing units at an average density of 183.9 per square mile (71.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.6% White, 0.7% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
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