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Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Valley Grove WV

How to Enroll In a Welder Training Program near Valley Grove West Virginia

Valley Grove WV welding school studentLocating the right welding trade school near Valley Grove WV is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

Valley Grove WV welder working on pipingThere are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Valley Grove WV.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Valley Grove WV welder working on poleThere are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Valley Grove WV employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Operate in compliance with contract specifications

As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder tech school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Trade Program

Valley Grove WV welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Valley Grove WV area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm 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 organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Valley Grove WV for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Valley Grove WV 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 important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Valley Grove WV employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Valley Grove WV welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Valley Grove WV home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Valley Grove WV, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Valley Grove WV?

Perhaps you live in the Valley Grove West Virginia 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.

Valley Grove, West Virginia

Valley Grove is a village in Ohio County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Wheeling, West Virginia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 378 at the 2010 census. The village was named from a nearby recreational area at a grove in a valley.[6][7]

Valley Grove is located at 40°05′16″N 80°34′07″W / 40.087902°N 80.568611°W / 40.087902; -80.568611 (40.087902, -80.568611),[8] along Little Wheeling Creek, a tributary of Wheeling Creek.[9]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 378 people, 167 households, and 115 families residing in the village. The population density was 687.3 inhabitants per square mile (265.4/km2). There were 177 housing units at an average density of 321.8 per square mile (124.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.9% White, 0.5% Native American, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Valley Grove WVWelding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Valley Grove WV area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Right Welding Trade School Valley Grove WV

Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Valley Grove WV.

 

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