How to Find the Right Welding Training Class near Woodruff South Carolina
Finding the right welder school near Woodruff SC is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Woodruff SC.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Woodruff SC employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Woodruff SC area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds 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 make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Woodruff SC for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Woodruff SC welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Woodruff SC contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to 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 comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Woodruff SC welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Woodruff SC home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodruff SC, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick 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 responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Woodruff SC?
Perhaps you live in the Woodruff 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.
Woodruff, South Carolina
The earliest history of this area begins with the membership of the Church of Christ on Jamey's Creek dated September 18, 1787. The church was named for Jamey's Creek, now called Jimmie's Creek, which heads off McArthur Street behind the Woodruff State Branch Bank on North Main Street. The early members traveled some distance to attend this church. They were from the communities of Cavins, Enoree, Crescent, Switzer and even others in Laurens County. Most of the early settlers had come from Virginia and North Carolina. They were primarily veterans of the Revolution and their families.
Joseph Woodruff received a grant of 200 acres (81 ha), which would later become the site of the city of Woodruff. He came to this area from the Yadkin River valley in North Carolina after his service in the Revolution. The first census of Spartanburg District, in 1790, shows who his neighbors were. All of these people were farmers. There were a few country stores in those days, and these were supplied by "Wagoner's".
One of Joseph Woodruff's sons, Thomas, remained in the area and dreamed of founding a town, but he did not live to see Woodruff incorporated. His two sons, Dr. Charles Pinckney Woodruff and Captain A. B. Woodruff, were most instrumental in carrying out their father's wishes. Therefore, the town was named in Thomas Woodruff's honor.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Woodruff SC area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until 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 want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover 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.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Woodruff SC
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. 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. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Woodruff SC.