How to Select a Welding Technical School near Waipahu Hawaii
Finding the right welding school near Waipahu HI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Waipahu HI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Waipahu HI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Technical Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Waipahu HI area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to 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 selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive 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 choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Waipahu HI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered 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 considering help 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Waipahu HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Waipahu HI employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Waipahu HI welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Waipahu HI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waipahu HI, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Waipahu HI?
Perhaps you live in the Waipahu Hawaii 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.
Waipahu is a former sugarcane plantation town and now census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District on the island of Oʻahu in the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP population was 38,216. The U.S. postal code for Waipahu is 96797.
Waipahu is the name of an artesian spring. In Hawaiian, Waipahu is derived from wai, meaning water, and pahū, meaning "burst or explode"; combined, Waipahu means "water forced up (as out of a spring)". The early Native Hawaiians took pleasure in the cool and clear water gushing from the ground and named this spring Waipahu. Before the Western civilization set foot in Hawaii, the Hawaiians considered Waipahu to be the capital of Oahu. Royalty in the Kingdom of Hawaii would often gather and enjoy the fresh water from the spring Waipahu.
In 1897, Oahu Sugar Company was incorporated, and its board of directors located the sugar mill in Waipahu. It had 943 field workers. There were 44 Hawaiians, including 10 minors; 57 Portuguese; 443 Japanese, 408 of them contract laborers; and 399 Chinese, 374 of whom were contract laborers. The company's managers from 1897 to 1940 were August Ahrens (1897–1904), E.K. Bull (1904–1919), J.B. Thomson (1919–1923), E.W. Greene (1923–1937), and Hans L'Orange (1937–1956).
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Waipahu HI 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 beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Technical School Waipahu HI
Picking the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Waipahu HI.
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