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Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Wakefield NE

How to Choose a Welder Degree Program near Wakefield Nebraska

Wakefield NE welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welding vocational school near Wakefield NE is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training

Wakefield NE welder working on pipingThere are several options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Wakefield NE.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Wakefield NE welder working on poleThere are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wakefield NE employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific types of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Vocational School

Wakefield NE welder working on carOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Wakefield NE area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you pick 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 single program the school has, such as 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Wakefield NE for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Wakefield NE 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 crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who were in 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 high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Wakefield NE contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Wakefield NE welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Wakefield NE home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and ask 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 satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wakefield NE, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wakefield NE?

Perhaps you live in the Wakefield Nebraska 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.

Wakefield, Nebraska

Wakefield had its start in the year 1881 by the building of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway through that territory.[5] It was named for L. W. Wakefield, a railroad engineer.[6] Wakefield was incorporated in 1883.[7]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,451 people, 534 households, and 352 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,667.8 inhabitants per square mile (643.9/km2). There were 575 housing units at an average density of 660.9 per square mile (255.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.6% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 21.4% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.6% of the population.

There were 534 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.1% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.23.

Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Wakefield NEWelding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Wakefield NE area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Wakefield NE

Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wakefield NE.

 

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