How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Kootenai Idaho
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Kootenai ID is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish 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 Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Kootenai ID.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Kootenai ID employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Vocational School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Kootenai ID area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types 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 pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Kootenai ID for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Kootenai ID welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Kootenai ID contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 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 trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Kootenai ID welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Kootenai ID home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kootenai ID, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Kootenai ID?
Perhaps you live in the Kootenai 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.
Kootenai County, Idaho
Kootenai County (/ˈkuːtniː/ KOOT-nee) is a county located in the U.S. state of Idaho. As of the 2010 census, the population was 138,494, making it the third-most populous county in Idaho. The county seat and largest city is Coeur d'Alene. The county was established in 1864 and named after the Kootenai tribe.
The Coeur d'Alene region takes its name from that given the local natives by French fur trappers. The tribe initially consisted of three bands that inhabited the areas surrounding Coeur d'Alene Lake and the Coeur d'Alene River. Canadian fur trade came to the region starting in 1809, marking the tribe's first contact with Europeans. Christian missionaries would follow with the first Christian meeting officiated by Father Nicolas Pointe on the north bank of Coeur d'Alene Lake at its junction with the Spokane River on December 2, 1842. The St. Joseph mission was initially established northwest of St. Maries in 1844 before being renamed Mission of the Sacred Heart at its relocation to the Cataldo site in 1846. Construction of Idaho's oldest structure commenced with construction of the mission church being completed by 1855. The mission headquarters was moved to DeSmet in 1877.
The Mullan Road was constructed through the area in 1859 with the route originally running on the southern side of Coeur d'Alene Lake. A route on the northern side of Coeur D'Alene Lake commenced in 1861. Mullan's men celebrated Independence Day of 1861 at Fourth of July Canyon east of Coeur d'Alene.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Kootenai ID area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Kootenai ID
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kootenai ID.