How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Course near Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Wisconsin Dells WI is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when examining welding 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Wisconsin Dells WI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a 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 working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Wisconsin Dells WI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Technical School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Wisconsin Dells WI area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Wisconsin Dells WI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Wisconsin Dells WI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wisconsin Dells WI employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wisconsin Dells WI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Wisconsin Dells WI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wisconsin Dells WI, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wisconsin Dells WI?
Perhaps you live in the Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin 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.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Dells is a city in south-central Wisconsin, with a population of 2,678 people as of the 2010 census. It straddles four counties: Adams, Columbia, Juneau, and Sauk. The city takes its name from the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a scenic, glacially formed gorge that features striking sandstone formations along the banks of the Wisconsin River. Together with the nearby village of Lake Delton, the city forms an area known as "the Dells", a popular Midwestern tourist destination.
Wisconsin Dells was founded as Kilbourn City in 1857 by Byron Kilbourn, who also founded Kilbourntown, one of the three original towns at the confluence of the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic Rivers that joined to become Milwaukee. Before the establishment of Kilbourn City, the region around the dells of the Wisconsin River was primarily a lumbering area until 1851, when the La Crosse and Milwaukee Railroad was chartered, with Kilbourn as its president. The railroad made plans to bridge the Wisconsin River near the river's dells, and a boomtown named Newport sprang up at the expected site of the bridge in 1853. The population of this new city quickly swelled to over 2,000, but when the railroad finally came through the area in 1857 it took nearly everyone by surprise by crossing the river a mile upstream from the site of Newport. As a result, Newport was rapidly turned into a ghost town as the settlers flocked to the new city at the site of the railroad bridge, Kilbourn City. The land at the point of crossing was originally owned by Parley Eaton. Byron Kilbourn bought the land from Eaton for a reduced price as everyone expected the railroad to cross at Newport. However, Kilbourn then went to Madison and lobbied the state to allow for the railroad right-of-way to be moved to cross at the point where he owned the land and greatly increased its value. Gradually, tourism became a large part of Kilbourn City. To make it easier for tourists to identify Kilbourn City with the natural landscape for which it was famous, the name of the city was changed to Wisconsin Dells in 1931. As the twentieth century progressed, new attractions began to draw even more tourists.
Because of the scenery provided by the dells of the Wisconsin River, Kilbourn City quickly became a popular travel destination in the Midwest. In 1856, Leroy Gates began taking tourists on boat tours of the Wisconsin Dells. These tours were given using wooden rowboats until 1873 when the first steamboat, the Modocawanda, was used. In 1875, early landscape photographer H. H. Bennett established a studio in the city and took many photos of the sandstone formations in the dells, including stereoscopic views. Prints of these photographs were distributed across the United States, further enhancing the status of Kilbourn City as a destination for sightseers. Taking advantage of this, Bennett began offering to take souvenir pictures of visitors to the dells, becoming one of the first to capitalize on the area's burgeoning tourist trade. Today, the H. H. Bennett Studio is an historic site operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wisconsin Dells WI area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find 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.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Wisconsin Dells WI
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical 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 between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wisconsin Dells WI.