How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Wanette Oklahoma
Finding the right welding school near Wanette OK is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
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 available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Wanette OK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wanette OK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Wanette OK area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard 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 example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose 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). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Wanette OK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Wanette OK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Wanette OK employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure 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 Wanette OK welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Wanette OK home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on 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 feedback. Similarly, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wanette OK, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm 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 because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wanette OK?
Perhaps you live in the Wanette Oklahoma 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.
Wanette is a town in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 350 at the 2010 census, a decline of 13 percent from 402 at the 2000 census. Wanette is part of the Purcell-Lexington retail trade area and is within the Greater Oklahoma City Metropolitan Area.
The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture indicates that the first settlement at this location occurred in 1868, when two settlers from Kansas built a two-story cabin. Their cabin still existed as recently as 2003. Other settlers followed. The community had several different names before a post office named Wanette opened on March 19, 1894. In 1903, the town moved one mile north to be on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line between Newkirk and Pauls Valley
By 1907, Wanette had a population of 739. The population peaked at 783 in 1920. The local economy was based on agriculture. Discovery of the Wanette-Asher oil field aided the economy during the 1930s, but did not prevent a population decline. The town still has an agricultural base, but by the beginning of the 21st Century had become a bedroom community for people working in Moore, Norman and Oklahoma City.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Wanette OK area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Wanette OK
Picking the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wanette OK.