How to Choose a Welder Technical School near Keaau Hawaii
Selecting the right welding technical school near Keaau HI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose 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? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Keaau HI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Keaau HI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Keaau HI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard 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, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Keaau HI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Keaau HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Keaau HI employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, 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 up-to-date. Specifically, 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. Otherwise, ask a local Keaau HI welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Keaau HI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Keaau HI, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Keaau HI?
Perhaps you live in the Keaau Hawaii area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Keaau (also written as Keaʻau) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States located in the District of Puna. The population was 2,010 at the 2000 census. The population increased by 12.1% to 2,253 at the 2010 census.
Keaau is on the east side of the island of Hawaii at 19°37′16″N 155°2′30″W / 19.62111°N 155.04167°W / 19.62111; -155.04167 (19.621072, -155.041706). It is bordered to the southwest by Kurtistown. Hilo is 8 miles (13 km) to the north. The junction of Hawaii Route 11 (the Hawaii Belt Road) and Hawaii Route 130 (Keaau-Pahoa Road) is in the northern part of the community. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,253 people in 701 households residing in the CDP. The population density was 901.2 people per square mile (352.0/km²). There were 757 housing units at an average density of 302.8 per square mile (118.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 12.38% White, 0.22% African American, 0.18% American Indian & Alaska Native, 52.02% Asian, 7.50% Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 27.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.74% of the population.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Keaau HI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Keaau HI
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Keaau HI.