How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Thibodaux Louisiana
Locating the right welding vocational school near Thibodaux LA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Thibodaux LA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Thibodaux LA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just 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 various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Thibodaux LA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you select 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 an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Thibodaux LA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Thibodaux LA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Thibodaux LA employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed 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 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 Thibodaux LA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Thibodaux LA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree 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 needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Thibodaux LA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Thibodaux LA?
Perhaps you live in the Thibodaux Louisiana 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.
Thibodaux (/ˈtɪbədoʊ/ TIB-ə-doh) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States, along the banks of Bayou Lafourche in the northwestern part of the parish. The population was 14,567 at the 2010 census. Thibodaux is a principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first European colonists were French, who settled here in the 18th century when the area was claimed as part of La Louisiane. They imported African slaves as workers and developed sugar cane plantations.
This was incorporated as a town in 1830 under the name Thibodauxville, in honor of local planter Henry Schuyler Thibodaux. He provided land for the village center and served as acting governor of Louisiana in 1824. The area was developed in the antebellum period for sugar cane plantations, and Thibodaux was the trading center of the agricultural area. The name was changed to Thibodeaux in 1838. The current spelling Thibodaux was officially adopted in 1918.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Thibodaux LA area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Thibodaux LA
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Thibodaux LA.