How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Whitewater Wisconsin
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Whitewater WI 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 know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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 Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Whitewater WI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Whitewater WI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally 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, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Whitewater WI area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types 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 example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Whitewater WI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Whitewater WI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Whitewater WI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, 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 modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Whitewater WI welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Whitewater WI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding 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 local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitewater WI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Whitewater WI?
Perhaps you live in the Whitewater 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.
Whitewater is a city in Walworth (mostly) and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Located near the southern portion of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Whitewater is the home of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 14,390. Of this, 11,150 were in Walworth County, and 3,240 were in Jefferson County.
Whitewater was founded at the confluence of Whitewater Creek and Spring Brook, and named for the white sand in their beds. A gristmill was built on Whitewater creek, the resulting pond now called Lake Cravath. The town grew quickly when the first railroad line in Wisconsin passed through in 1853, but struggled when the two largest employers left town.
Whitewater was a New England settlement. The original founders of Whitewater consisted entirely of settlers from New England. These people were "Yankees", that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal. When they arrived in what is now Whitewater, then nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as staunch support for abolitionism and a passion for education, establishing many schools as well. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some of them had converted to Methodism before moving to what is now Whitewater. Whitewater, like much of Wisconsin, would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture for most of its early history.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Whitewater WI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Whitewater WI
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Whitewater WI.
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