How to Enroll In a Welder Training Class near Laie Hawaii
Selecting the right welder trade school near Laie HI is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Laie HI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Laie HI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech Program
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Laie HI area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Laie HI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma 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 looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Laie HI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied 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 school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Laie HI employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Laie HI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Laie HI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Laie HI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Laie HI?
Perhaps you live in the Laie 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.
Laie is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the Koolauloa District on the island of Oahu in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. In Hawaiian, lāʻie means "ʻie leaf" (ʻieʻie is a climbing screwpine: Freycinetia arborea). The population was 6,138 at the 2010 census.
Historically, Laie was a puʻuhonua, a sanctuary for fugitives. While a fugitive was in the pu'uhonua, it was unlawful for that fugitive's pursuers to harm him or her. During wartime, spears with white flags attached were set up at each end of the city of refuge. If warriors attempted to pursue fugitives into the puʻuhonua, they would be killed by sanctuary priests. Fugitives seeking sanctuary in a city of refuge were not forced to permanently live within the confines of its walls. Instead, they were given two choices. In some cases, after a certain length of time (ranging from a couple of weeks to several years), fugitives could enter the service of the priests and assist in the daily affairs of the puʻuhonua. A second option was that after a certain length of time the fugitives would be free to leave and re-enter the world unmolested. Traditional cities of refuge were abolished in 1819.
The history of Laie began long before European contact. The name Laie is said to derive from two Hawaiian words: lau meaning "leaf", and ie referring to the ʻieʻie (red-spiked climbing screwpine, Freycinetia arborea), which wreaths forest trees of the uplands or mauka regions of the mountains of the Koʻolau Range behind the community of Laie. In Hawaiian mythology, this red-spiked climbing screwpine is sacred to Kane, god of the earth, god of life, and god of the forests, as well as to Laka, the patron goddess of the hula.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Laie HI area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis 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 until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must 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 knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical School Laie HI
Choosing 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 assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary 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. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Laie HI.
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