How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Program near Nellis Afb Nevada
Finding the ideal welding school near Nellis Afb NV is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple 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 offered 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 available in the Nellis Afb NV.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Nellis Afb NV employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types 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 welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Nellis Afb NV area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Nellis Afb NV for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various 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 placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Nellis Afb NV welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Nellis Afb NV contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure 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 unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Nellis Afb NV welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Nellis Afb NV home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of 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 evaluations. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Nellis Afb NV, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Nellis Afb NV?
Perhaps you live in the Nellis Afb Nevada 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.
Nellis Air Force Base
Nellis Air Force Base ("Nellis" colloq.) is a United States Air Force installation in southern Nevada with military schools and more squadrons than any other USAF base. Nellis hosts air combat exercises such as Exercise Red Flag and close air support exercises such as Green Flag-West flown in "Military Operations Area (MOA) airspace", associated with the nearby Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The base also has the Combined Air and Space Operations Center-Nellis.
The Nellis AFB mission of advanced combat training for composite strike forces is commonly conducted in conjunction with air and grounds units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and allied forces. The base also supports operations at the nearby Creech Air Force Base, the Tonopah Test Range and the Nevada National Security Site. Nellis ground systems for range operations (e.g., by callsign "Nellis Control") include the Computer and Computed Subsystem used to receive microwave signals from the NTTR Ground-Based Stations of the Tracking and Communications Subsystem (TCS) for presentation on Nellis' Display and Debrief SubSystem (DDS).
Nellis AFB covers about 11,300 acres (4,600 ha) in the northeast corner of the Las Vegas Valley, an alluvial basin in the Basin and Range Province. Since World War II, Nellis has had areas added, such as Area II in 1969, but still has about 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) of undeveloped space. One World War II runway has been removed. The base has 3 areas (I, II, III). The United States Geological Survey names five different locations for the base: "Nellis Air Force Base", the airfield, the post office, a Community College of Southern Nevada campus, and the census-designated place (CDP).
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Nellis Afb NV area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School Nellis Afb NV
Selecting the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Nellis Afb NV.
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