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Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Weston MO

How to Select a Welding Certificate Program near Weston Missouri

Weston MO welding school studentFinding the ideal welder trade school near Weston MO is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welder trade 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses

Weston MO welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Weston MO.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 readies students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Weston MO welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Weston MO employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Tech School

Weston MO welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Weston MO area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should 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 following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Weston MO for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Weston MO welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Weston MO employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs 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 modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Weston MO welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Weston MO home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Weston MO, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Weston MO?

Perhaps you live in the Weston Missouri 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.

Weston, Missouri

Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped at "Bear Medison" island, near the location of today's city hall. Weston was the oldest settlement in the Platte Purchase of 1836 and was therefore also the farthest western settlement (thus, "West Town") in the United States until the admission of Texas as a state in 1845. Another suggested origin is related to a story about a discharged US Army dragoon by the name of Joseph Moore. He bought the land and then had First Sergeant Tom Weston of D Company, First Dragoons, stationed at Fort Leavenworth across the Missouri River, lay out a town plan. It is this individual the town is named for.

Weston was at one time the second largest port on the Missouri river, surpassing both Kansas City and St. Joseph and one point shortly after its founding it claimed to be the second largest city in Missouri.[7] A flood in 1881 shifted the river into an old channel some 2 miles away. In 1850 over 265 steamboats a year docked at the Port of Weston.[8]

The Weston Brewing Company was first established in 1842 by German immigrant, John Georgian, and was one of the first lager beer breweries in the U.S. Five arched, limestone cellars, dug to a depth of 55 feet below ground, were constructed to create the ideal conditions for Georgian’s lager beer which needed to be stored below 60 degrees. The brewery closed in 1919 when prohibition was signed into law. In 2005 the Weston Brewing Company reopened and one of the cellars now houses a unique bar which requires patrons to descend down through a small rock faced tunnel to get to the large, cool, cavern like bar.[9]

Online Welder Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Weston MOWelding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Weston MO area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Tech School Weston MO

Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Weston MO.

 

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