How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Naples Idaho
Choosing the right welder trade school near Naples ID is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Naples ID.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Naples ID employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Naples ID area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Naples ID for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Naples 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 essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Naples ID contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Naples ID welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Naples ID home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Naples ID, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Naples ID?
Perhaps you live in the Naples 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.
Naples is a small unincorporated community in Boundary County, Idaho, United States. It lies 11 miles (18 km) south of the city of Bonners Ferry and 23 miles north of Sandpoint, on U.S. Routes 2/95 in the Rocky Mountains. It is also very close to the US-Canada border.
The name derives from the area in Italy, which was home to many of the laborers who helped build the first rail line through the region around 1890. The town primarily consists of a K-5 school system, the Naples General Store (which also serves as the Post Office), a bar, and a lumber plant.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Naples ID area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner 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 unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School Naples ID
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Naples ID.