How to Select a Welder Degree Program near Kellogg Idaho
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Kellogg ID is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Kellogg ID.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 furnishes a more extensive 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 prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Kellogg ID employers not only expect 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 available 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Kellogg ID area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Kellogg ID for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Kellogg ID welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Kellogg ID contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Kellogg ID welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Kellogg ID home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. 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, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kellogg ID, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Kellogg ID?
Perhaps you live in the Kellogg 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.
Kellogg is a city in the Silver Valley of Shoshone County, Idaho, United States, in the Idaho Panhandle region. The city lies near the Coeur d'Alene National Forest and about 36 miles (58 km) east-southeast of Coeur d'Alene along Interstate 90. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 2,120, down by a third from its population in 1980.
Kellogg is named after a prospector named Noah Kellogg. After nearly a century of bustling activity in the mines, including a history of disputes between union miners and mine owners, the Bunker Hill Mine (& smelter) closed in 1981, leaving thousands out of work and a history of lead contamination. Other mines reduced operations, as well. Since the mines have closed, Kellogg has been moving more towards a resort town as the development of new condos, hotels, restaurants, shops, a water park, and a new golf course continues at the base of the Silver Mountain Gondola. Kellogg was featured in The New York Times travel section as an up-and-coming resort town.
The Silver Mountain Resort is a ski resort which includes Kellogg Peak at 6,297 feet (1,919 m) and Wardner Peak (6,200 feet (1,890 m)) and is accessed by taking the world's longest single-cabin gondola 3.1 miles (5.0 km) from the city of Kellogg to the lodge at 5,700 feet (1,737 m) on Kellogg Mountain.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Kellogg ID area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless 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 desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School Kellogg ID
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Kellogg ID.
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