How to Find the Right Welding Training Program near Wheeler Army Airfield Hawaii
Choosing the right welder technical school near Wheeler Army Airfield HI is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wheeler Army Airfield HI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Wheeler Army Airfield HI area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Wheeler Army Airfield HI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Wheeler Army Airfield HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wheeler Army Airfield HI contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Wheeler Army Airfield HI welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Wheeler Army Airfield HI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical 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 observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out 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 meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wheeler Army Airfield HI, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wheeler Army Airfield HI?
Perhaps you live in the Wheeler Army Airfield 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.
Wheeler Army Airfield
Wheeler Army Airfield (IATA: HHI, ICAO: PHHI, FAA LID: HHI), also known as Wheeler Field and formerly as Wheeler Air Force Base, is a United States Army post located in the City & County of Honolulu and in the Wahiawa District of the Island of O'ahu, Hawaii. It is a National Historic Landmark for its role in the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Wheeler AAF comprises approximately 1,389 acres (5.62 km2) of land adjacent to Schofield Barracks and is home to a variety of Department of Defense activities including the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the 169th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (169 ACWS) of the Hawaii Air National Guard, the 193rd Aviation Regiment (Medium Lift), Detachment 55 Operational Support Airlift (Det 55 OSA) of the Hawaii Army National Guard, the Regular Army's 25th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade, and Trial Defense Service-Hawaii.
On 6 February 1922, a detachment of 20 enlisted men from Luke Field, proceeded to Schofield Barracks, under Lieutenant William T. Agee, to clear the flying field on the grounds of the former 17th Cavalry Regiment drill grounds and construct housing for the divisional air service. Two canvas hangars were erected and the field cleared of weeds, guava and algaroba trees. Thus Wheeler Field got its modest start. It was named Wheeler Field on 11 November 1922 in honor of Major Sheldon H. Wheeler, former commander of Luke Field on Ford Island, killed in the crash of DH-4B, AAS Ser. No. 63525 on 13 July 1921.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wheeler Army Airfield HI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide 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. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Wheeler Army Airfield HI
Choosing the best welder 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 examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Wheeler Army Airfield HI.
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