How to Choose a Welding Training Class near Waukee Iowa
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Waukee IA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to create 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 Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Waukee IA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide 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.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Waukee IA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Trade Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Waukee IA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Waukee IA 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 also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Waukee IA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Waukee IA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Waukee IA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Waukee IA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waukee IA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Waukee IA?
Perhaps you live in the Waukee Iowa 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.
Waukee is a city in Dallas County, Iowa, United States. The population was 13,790 at the 2010 U.S. Census; a fast growth has been measured since as it is estimated there were 19,284 people living in Waukee in 2016. It is part of the Des Moines – West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Waukee is located at 41°36′32″N 93°51′55″W / 41.60889°N 93.86528°W / 41.60889; -93.86528 (41.608974, -93.865320). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.99 square miles (33.64 km2), of which, 12.97 square miles (33.59 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water. It is known for its Waukee Stadium.
Humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. The Köppen climate classification subtype for this climate is "Dfa" (Hot summer, continental climate).
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Waukee IA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical Program Waukee IA
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Waukee IA.