How to Enroll In a Welder Trade School near Shenandoah Iowa
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Shenandoah IA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options to obtain 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in Shenandoah IA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Iowa trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Shenandoah IA.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Shenandoah IA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things 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 based on contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Shenandoah IA employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various Shenandoah IA area community colleges and technical schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Shenandoah IA area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Shenandoah IA schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various Shenandoah IA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Shenandoah IA employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Shenandoah IA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Shenandoah IA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the Shenandoah IA area welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Shenandoah IA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Welding Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask Welding prospects is "What drove you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational School near Shenandoah IA
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor 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, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Shenandoah IA.
About Shenandoah Iowa
Shenandoah is a city in Fremont and Page Counties in Iowa. The population was 5,150 at the 2010 census.
Once referred to as the "seed and nursery center of the world," Shenandoah is the home to Earl May Seed Company and the radio station KMA, founded by Earl May. The early live radio stations gave many performers their start, including The Everly Brothers and Charlie Haden.
Shenandoah, originally known as Fair Oaks, was platted in 1870, shortly after the arrival of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad into the neighborhood. Its name is derived from the local valley's resemblance to the Shenandoah Valley, in Virginia.
Shenandoah is located at 40°45′44″N 95°22′15″W / 40.76222°N 95.37083°W / 40.76222; -95.37083 (40.762251, -95.370945) along Fourmile Creek near its confluence with the East Nishnabotna River.
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