How to Enroll In a Welding Trade School near Williamsport Ohio
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Williamsport OH is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options to obtain 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 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 short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Williamsport OH.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Williamsport OH employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Williamsport OH area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already 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 must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. 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 offers, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Williamsport OH 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must 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 assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Williamsport OH welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Williamsport OH employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Williamsport OH welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Williamsport OH home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamsport OH, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Williamsport OH?
Perhaps you live in the Williamsport Ohio 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.84 square miles (4.77 km2), of which 1.81 square miles (4.69 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,023 people, 342 households, and 272 families residing in the village. The population density was 565.2 inhabitants per square mile (218.2/km2). There were 377 housing units at an average density of 208.3 per square mile (80.4/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.3% of the population.
There were 342 households of which 50.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 17.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 20.5% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.30.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Williamsport OH area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Williamsport OH
Choosing the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Williamsport OH.