How to Choose a Welder Trade School near Woodville Ohio
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Woodville OH is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Woodville OH.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take 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 specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Woodville OH employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Trade School
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Woodville OH area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at 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 looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide 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 welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard 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 make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Woodville OH for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Woodville OH 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 crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Woodville OH contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Woodville OH welding professional 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 cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Woodville OH home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm 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 Woodville OH, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Woodville OH?
Perhaps you live in the Woodville Ohio 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.
Woodville was the midway point on the Western Reserve and Maumee Turnpike, which was also known as the "Old Mud Pike" because of the thick mud that often mired animals and vehicles alike. It was the first permanent route across the Black Swamp. The toll road connected Perrysburg with Lower Sandusky, which has since been renamed Fremont.
A mile marker from the road remains at 100 East Main Street, in front of the village pharmacy. Several of the milestones are still in place along the 31 miles (50 km) stretch between present day Fremont and Perrysburg. The route is currently designated U.S. Route 20.
Woodville is also the point at which U.S. 20 crosses the Portage River. The former Pennsylvania Railroad also crossed the Portage River in Woodville. The line was at one time a main route from Toledo to Pittsburgh.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Woodville OH area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate 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 degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational School Woodville OH
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Woodville OH.