How to Pick a Welding Trade School near Weldona Colorado
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Weldona CO is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. 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 crucial considerations when examining welder vocational 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Weldona CO.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Weldona CO employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Trade School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Weldona CO area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Weldona CO for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Weldona CO welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Weldona CO employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, 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 on the job. If you are not sure 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 Weldona CO welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Weldona CO home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many 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 flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Weldona CO, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Weldona CO?
Perhaps you live in the Weldona Colorado 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.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Weldona CO area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Tech Program Weldona CO
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Weldona CO.