How to Pick a Welder Certification Course near Waveland Mississippi
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Waveland MS is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. 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 crucial concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 develop 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 Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Waveland MS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Waveland MS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Technical School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Waveland MS area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Waveland MS for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Waveland MS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Waveland MS employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Waveland MS welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Waveland MS home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waveland MS, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Waveland MS?
Perhaps you live in the Waveland 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.
Waveland is a city located in Hancock County, Mississippi, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the Gulfport–Biloxi, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city of Waveland was incorporated in 1972. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,435. Waveland was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Camille on August 17, 1969, and by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.
On August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall at the tip of Louisiana before continuing on shore at Waveland. The storm heavily damaged the areas south of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. Recovery efforts went on for nearly a decade. The town later erected a plaque commemorating the efforts of the volunteers who committed time and resources towards rebuilding.
The city of Waveland was "ground zero" of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on August 29, 2005. The city received massive damage and is still in the process of recovering and rebuilding. South of the CSXT mainline, the area was almost completely destroyed. The rest of the city took heavy flooding. In a news report, state officials said Waveland took a harder hit from the wind and water than any other town along the Gulf Coast, and that the town was obliterated. 36 years earlier, in 1969, Waveland had been severely damaged by Hurricane Camille.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Waveland MS area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Trade Program Waveland MS
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Waveland MS.