How to Find the Right Welder Certification Program near Star Mississippi
Locating the ideal welding school near Star MS is an important 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 alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welding 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Star MS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Star MS employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available 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
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Tech Program
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Star MS area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Star MS for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Star MS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Star MS employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over 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 uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Star MS welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously 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 relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Star MS home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving 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. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure 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 Star MS, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Star MS?
Perhaps you live in the Star Mississippi 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.
MS Scandinavian Star
MS Scandinavian Star, originally named MS Massalia, was a car and passenger ferry built in France in 1971. The ship was set on fire in April 1990, killing 159 people, and the official investigation blamed the fires on a convicted arsonist, who died in the fire. This finding has since been disputed.
M/S Massalia was built by Dubigeon-Normandie S.A. in 1971 and delivered to Compagnie de Paquebots who put her on the route Marseille–Málaga–Casablanca and also cruises in the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1984 she was owned by a number of companies and named Stena Baltica, Island Fiesta and finally Scandinavian Star, a name given to her by Scandinavian World Cruises who chartered the ship for cruises between St. Petersburg, Florida and Tampa, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Star MS area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Tech Program Star MS
Picking the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Star MS.