How to Select a Welder Degree Program near Desmet Idaho
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Desmet ID is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Desmet ID.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Desmet ID employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Desmet ID area. That’s why it’s important to determine 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 looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Desmet ID for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Desmet ID welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Desmet ID contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Desmet ID welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Desmet ID home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Desmet ID, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Desmet ID?
Perhaps you live in the Desmet 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.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Desmet ID area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment 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 careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Desmet ID
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Desmet ID.