How to Pick a Welding Certification Program near Sundance Wyoming
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Sundance WY is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Sundance WY.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Sundance WY employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Sundance WY area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Sundance WY for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Sundance WY welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied 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 high 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 Sundance WY contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm 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 in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Sundance WY welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Sundance WY home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sundance WY, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Sundance WY?
Perhaps you live in the Sundance Wyoming 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.
Sundance (Lakota: Owíwaŋyaŋg Wačhí; "Sun-Watching Dance") is a town in and the county seat of Crook County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 1,182 at the 2010 census. The town is named for the Sun Dance ceremony practiced by several Native American Indian tribes.
After his release from the town jail in 1888, Harry Longabaugh, an outlaw and member of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch in the American Old West, acquired the moniker, "the Sundance Kid". His nickname entered the popular culture with release of the 1969 movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which won several Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay. Robert Redford, who portrayed Longabaugh in the movie, later named his Sundance Ski Resort near Provo, Utah, and the Sundance Film Festival after this character.
The town of Sundance is the primary setting of Scumble, a children's novel by Ingrid Law, and a sequel to her earlier children's book, Savvy. Sundance, Wyoming is also the primary setting for Lorelei James' novels in her "Rough Riders" series of 16 books involving the fictional McKay family, eking out a living as multi generational ranchers and the younger generation's accepting who they are individually, the ins and outs of working with family every day and finding love.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Sundance WY area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Sundance WY
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor 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 commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Sundance WY.