How to Enroll In a Welder Certificate Program near York South Carolina
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near York SC is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options available to receive 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the York SC.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous York SC employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
After you have decided on the credential you want 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 York SC area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people look at 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 pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in York SC for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the York SC welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of York SC employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local York SC welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your York SC home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near York SC, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near York SC?
Perhaps you live in the York South Carolina 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.
York, South Carolina
York /ˈjɔːrk/ is a city and county seat of York County, South Carolina, United States. The population was approximately 6,985 at the 2000 census and up to 7,736 at the 2010 census. York is located approximately 27 miles (43 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina and 13 miles (21 km) west of Rock Hill, South Carolina.
The first European settlers came to York in the early 1750s, having migrated south from Pennsylvania and Virginia. Of the three major groups settling Pennsylvania, the English came first, then the Germans, and then the Scots. The county names of Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire had been brought from England to Pennsylvania, and then on to South Carolina by the early settlers.
The town of York was originally known as Fergus’s Crossroads for a tavern, owned by two brothers, William and John Fergus, that was located at the intersection of the road from Rutherfordton to Camden and the road from Charlottesburg (Charlotte) to Augusta. When the county of York was established in 1785 the state statute required each county to erect a courthouse and public buildings in the most convenient part of the county, with a tax levied to cover the cost of "building the court houses, prisons, pillories, whipping posts and stocks." Fergus’s Crossroads was near the geographic center of the newly formed county and was chosen for the site of the new county seat.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater York SC area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical School York SC
Selecting the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in York SC.