How to Select a Welding Certification Program near Zelienople Pennsylvania
Finding the right welding trade school near Zelienople PA is an important first step to beginning 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding technical 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Zelienople PA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete 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.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Zelienople PA employers not only expect a degree or certificate 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 kind of work that the welder does. A few 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 kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Zelienople PA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at 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 select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Zelienople PA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Zelienople PA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Zelienople PA contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Zelienople PA welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Zelienople PA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks 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 meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Zelienople PA, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Zelienople PA?
Perhaps you live in the Zelienople Pennsylvania 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.
Zelienople is located in southwestern Butler County, situated on the south bank of Connoquenessing Creek, in an area that is rich with coal and iron ore. The elevation is 935 feet (285 m) above sea level. The borough is bordered by Jackson Township on the north, southeast, and south, and by the borough of Harmony on the northeast. The western border of Zelienople is the Beaver County line.
U.S. Route 19 (Perry Highway) is the main north-south road through the center of town. Interstate 79, running generally parallel to US 19, passes just to the east of the borough, with access from Exits 85, 87, and 88. Via I-79 and I-279 it is 28 miles (45 km) south to downtown Pittsburgh. To the north I-79 leads 100 miles (160 km) to Erie. Pennsylvania Route 68 runs east from US 19 as East Grandview Avenue and southwest as West Beaver Street. Via PA 68 it is 17 miles (27 km) east to Butler, the county seat, and 12 miles (19 km) southwest to Rochester on the Ohio River. Routes 288 and 588 lead west from town on West New Castle Street, PA 288 turning northwest to lead 10 miles (16 km) to Ellwood City, and PA 588 leading 14 miles (23 km) west to Beaver Falls.
Zelienople was named for the eldest daughter of Baron Dettmar Basse (1762–1836), whose chosen name was Zelie (her given name was Fredericka) which she named herself after her favorite doll. Baron Basse arrived in 1802 from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and purchased a tract of 10,000 acres (40 km2) of land in Butler and Beaver counties.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Zelienople PA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Zelienople PA
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options 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. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Zelienople PA.