How to Choose a Welder Certification Class near Cascade Idaho
Selecting the right welder school near Cascade ID is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available to receive 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Cascade ID.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Cascade ID employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few 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 kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder technical school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Cascade ID area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you pick 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 a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Cascade ID for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Cascade ID welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher 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 Cascade ID employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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. Otherwise, ask a local Cascade ID welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Cascade ID home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cascade ID, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Cascade ID?
Perhaps you live in the Cascade Idaho 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.
Cascade is located on the southeast shore of Lake Cascade, formerly known as "Cascade Reservoir." With the introduction of the Tamarack Resort in 2004, the name was officially changed to sidestep the negative marketing connotations of "reservoir." It was formed by the completion of Cascade Dam, on the north side of the city. Construction by the Bureau of Reclamation began in 1942, was halted during World War II, and completed in 1948.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.86 square miles (12.59 km2), of which, 4.17 square miles (10.80 km2) is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.
Cascade is approximately 70 miles (110 km) north of Boise, accessed via State Highway 55, the Payette River Scenic Byway, a designated national scenic byway. It heads north from Eagle in Ada County to Horseshoe Bend in Boise County, and climbs the whitewater of the Payette River to Cascade. SH-55 continues north to McCall, where it turns west at Payette Lake and continues to New Meadows in Adams County, ending at the junction with US-95.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Cascade ID area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Technical Program Cascade ID
Picking the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Cascade ID.