Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Twin Falls ID

How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Twin Falls Idaho

Twin Falls ID welding school studentEnrolling in the right welder vocational school near Twin Falls ID is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

Twin Falls ID welder working on pipingThere are several options available to obtain 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Twin Falls ID.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Twin Falls ID welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Twin Falls ID employers not only require 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 upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 specific types of welds
  • Work according to contract specifications

As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Technical Program

Twin Falls ID welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Twin Falls ID area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Twin Falls ID for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Twin Falls ID welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Twin Falls ID contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Twin Falls ID welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Twin Falls ID home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses 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 needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Twin Falls ID, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Twin Falls ID?

Perhaps you live in the Twin Falls 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.

Twin Falls, Idaho

Twin Falls is the largest city of Idaho's Magic Valley region. As the largest city in a 100-mile (160-kilometer) radius, Twin Falls serves as a regional commercial center for both south-central Idaho and northeastern Nevada.[8]

Twin Falls is the principal city of the Twin Falls, ID Twin Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which officially includes Jerome and Twin Falls County.[9] The resort community of Jackpot, Nevada, in Elko County is unofficially considered part of the greater Twin Falls area.[10]

Excavations at Wilson Butte Cave near Twin Falls in 1959 revealed evidence of human activity, including arrowheads, that rank among the oldest dated artifacts in North America.[11] Later Native American tribes predominant in the area included the Northern Shoshone and Bannock.[12]

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Twin Falls IDWelding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Twin Falls ID area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Find the Right Welding Trade Program Twin Falls ID

Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Twin Falls ID.

 

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