How to Enroll In a Welder Training Program near Driggs Idaho
Enrolling in the ideal welding trade school near Driggs ID is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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 short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Driggs ID.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Driggs ID employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Driggs ID area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Driggs ID for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Driggs ID welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy 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 high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Driggs ID employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 working with in the field. 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 Driggs ID welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Driggs ID home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Driggs ID, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick 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 circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Driggs ID?
Perhaps you live in the Driggs 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.
Driggs is a city in Teton County, Idaho, United States. It is part of the Jackson, WY-ID Micropolitan Statistical Area, and is located in Teton Valley, the headwaters of the Teton River. The population was 1,660 at the 2010 census, up from 1,100 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Teton County, and was its largest city until recently (between the 2000 and 2010 censuses) surpassed by Victor.
The Teton Valley was discovered by John Colter in 1808, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–06). It became known as Pierre's Hole, and it hosted the well-attended 1832 Rendezvous, which was followed by the Battle of Pierre's Hole.
Driggs was founded in 1888 by Benjamin Woodbury Driggs, Jr. and Don Carlos Driggs, whose descendants later moved to Arizona and founded Western Savings and Loan where most live still, though some remain in Idaho. John Driggs, a descendant of Don Carlos Driggs, later became the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona in the 1970s. In 2007, National Geographic magazine listed Driggs as one of the 10 best outdoor recreation destinations in the U.S.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Driggs ID area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished 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 expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Driggs ID
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Driggs ID.