How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Ville Platte Louisiana
Enrolling in the right welder vocational school near Ville Platte LA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Courses
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Ville Platte LA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Ville Platte LA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Vocational Program
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Ville Platte LA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Ville Platte LA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Ville Platte LA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Ville Platte LA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate 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 comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Ville Platte LA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Ville Platte LA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ville Platte LA, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Ville Platte LA?
Perhaps you live in the Ville Platte 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.
Ville Platte, Louisiana
Ville Platte is a city in, and the parish seat of, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 7,430 at the 2010 census, down from 8,145 in 2000. The city's name is of French origin, roughly translating to "flat city", in reference to its relatively flat topography in contrast to the more hilly terrain north of the area.
The area around Ville Platte appears to have been first settled during the last half of the eighteenth century, when Louisiana was under Spanish rule. The earliest record of settlement in the immediate area of Ville Platte was in the 1780s.
Popular legend states the founder of Ville Platte was Marcellin Garand, an adjutant major in the Army of the French Empire during the reign of Napoleon. In 1824, Garand obtained one of the first two lots that were platted in what is now Ville Platte, with the second being obtained by a Doctor Robert Windex. Those lots were obtained from the estate of William O'Donegan. This appears to be the actual beginning of, or the founding of, the present town of Ville Platte.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Ville Platte LA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Ville Platte LA
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Ville Platte LA.