How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Naalehu Hawaii
Locating the right welder technical school near Naalehu HI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting 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 reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to get 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Naalehu HI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Naalehu HI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding technical school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Naalehu HI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on 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 need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Naalehu HI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various 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 associations within the Naalehu HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Naalehu HI contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate 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 similar 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Naalehu HI welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Naalehu HI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Naalehu HI, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Naalehu HI?
Perhaps you live in the Naalehu 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.
Naalehu is a community in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States. Naʻālehu means "the volcanic ashes" in Hawaiian. It is the southernmost community with a post office in the 50 states of the United States. (See List of extreme points of the United States.) For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Naalehu as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The population was 866 at the 2010 census, down from 919 at the 2000 census.
Naalehu is located near the southern tip of the island of Hawaii at 19°3′57″N 155°35′15″W / 19.06583°N 155.58750°W / 19.06583; -155.58750 (19.065925, -155.587528) in the Kaʻū District. It is bordered to the west by Waiohinu, and Discovery Harbour is to the southwest. (The two communities are census-designated places but do not have post offices.)
As of the census of 2000, there were 919 people, 290 households, and 209 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 426.1 people per square mile (164.3/km²). There were 332 housing units at an average density of 153.9 per square mile (59.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 8.38% White, 0.33% African American, 0.11% Native American, 45.59% Asian, 13.82% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 31.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.44% of the population.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Naalehu HI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, 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 need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Vocational School Naalehu HI
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Naalehu HI.