How to Choose a Welder Certification Class near Shellsburg Iowa
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Shellsburg IA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Shellsburg IA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by Iowa trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing 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 needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder in Shellsburg IA.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Shellsburg IA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Shellsburg IA employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain Shellsburg IA area community colleges and technical schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Shellsburg IA area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many 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 need to be looked at. After all, the school you select 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 might need to consider before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for Shellsburg IA schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other Shellsburg IA metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high 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 Shellsburg IA contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Shellsburg IA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Shellsburg IA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from 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. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the Shellsburg IA area welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Shellsburg IA, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Welding Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask Welder prospects is "What drove you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Welder and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade Program near Shellsburg IA
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy 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 talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Shellsburg IA.
About Shellsburg Iowa
Shellsburg is a city in Benton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 983 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Shellsburg was founded in 1854.
Shellsburg is located at 42°5′35″N 91°52′13″W / 42.09306°N 91.87028°W / 42.09306; -91.87028 (42.093058, -91.870272).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.77 square miles (1.99 km2), all of it land.
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