How to Choose a Welder Degree Program near Makawao Hawaii
Selecting the right welder technical school near Makawao HI is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 options, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Makawao HI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop 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 2 years to complete and are most often 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.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Makawao HI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills 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 types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Makawao HI area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds 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 select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Makawao HI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Makawao 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 important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Makawao HI employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. 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 Makawao HI welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Makawao HI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Makawao HI, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Makawao HI?
Perhaps you live in the Makawao 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.
Makawao is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The population was 7,184 at the 2010 census. Located on the rural northwest slope of Haleakala on East Maui, the community is known for being the hub of the "Upcountry", a part of the island dominated by mostly agriculture and ranch land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,327 people, 2,151 households, and 1,565 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,353.8 people per square mile (523.1/km²). There were 2,222 housing units at an average density of 475.5 per square mile (183.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 40.54% White, 0.32% African American, 0.55% Native American, 17.04% Asian, 8.74% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, and 31.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.93% of the population.
There were 2,151 households out of which 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 17.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.34.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Makawao HI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Makawao HI
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Makawao HI.