How to Select a Welder Trade School near Woodbury Tennessee
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Woodbury TN is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Woodbury TN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Woodbury TN employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means 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 make sure that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Woodbury TN area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Woodbury TN for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The 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 larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Woodbury TN welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Woodbury TN employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Woodbury TN welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Woodbury TN home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma 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 a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Woodbury TN, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Woodbury TN?
Perhaps you live in the Woodbury Tennessee 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.
Woodbury is a town in Cannon County, Tennessee, United States. Woodbury is part of the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located 55 miles (89 km) southeast of downtown Nashville. The population of Woodbury was 2,680 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Cannon County.
Woodbury is a small town located near the center of Cannon County at 35°49′25″N 86°4′13″W / 35.82361°N 86.07028°W / 35.82361; -86.07028 (35.823644, -86.070268). It is in the valley of the East Fork of the Stones River, part of the Cumberland River watershed flowing through Nashville.
U.S. Route 70S passes through the town, leading west 19 miles (31 km) to Murfreesboro and southeast 20 miles (32 km) to McMinnville. Tennessee State Route 53 leads south from Woodbury 24 miles (39 km) to Manchester and north 16 miles (26 km) to Liberty. From the west side of Woodbury, Tennessee State Route 145 leads north 10 miles (16 km) to Auburntown.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Woodbury TN 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 beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most significant 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 must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Right Welding Technical School Woodbury TN
Picking the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Woodbury TN.