How to Choose a Welder Trade School near Woodrow Colorado
Choosing the right welder vocational school near Woodrow CO is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students 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 least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Woodrow CO.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Woodrow CO employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Vocational Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Woodrow CO area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard 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 example 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Woodrow CO 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 as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder 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. 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 refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Woodrow CO welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator 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 additionally that it has the network of Woodrow CO contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Woodrow CO welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Woodrow CO home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodrow CO, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Woodrow CO?
Perhaps you live in the Woodrow 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 Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Woodrow CO area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Right Welding Tech Program Woodrow CO
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Woodrow CO.
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Find Welding Schools Near You | Get Industry Info You Need
Welder Salary: How Much Does Welding Pay? Welders in the U.S. earn median wages of $44,190 a year, according to estimates from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program. The highest earners in the trade make over $66,250. Many top-paying welding jobs involve working in remote or inhospitable locations, such as constructing gas or oil pipelines in the wilderness.