How to Enroll In a Welding Degree Program near Waurika Oklahoma
Finding the ideal welding technical school near Waurika OK is an essential first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Waurika OK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly 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 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Waurika OK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Waurika OK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Waurika OK for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Waurika OK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Waurika OK contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Waurika OK welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Waurika OK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may 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 provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waurika OK, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Waurika OK?
Perhaps you live in the Waurika Oklahoma 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.
The name is the anglicized version of the Comanche compound woarɨhka 'worm eater' from woa 'worm' + tɨhka 'eat' and presumably refers to a group of Comanche living in the area or to some early European settlers whose plowing may have humorously resembled digging for worms. Such humorous names were common in Comanche culture, such as the word for 'rice', woarɨhkapɨh, literally 'worm food'.
Waurika was settled after the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache Reservation was opened to non-Indians on August 6, 1901. The first white settler was James McGraw, who homesteaded on the present town site after moving from Burlington, Iowa. The first sale of town lots was held on June 18, 1902. Nearly three thousand people attended the sale.
The Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway railroad came to Waurika on January 1902 after the railroad superintendent "designated the town as a flag station." Waurika was formerly the northern terminus for the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, one of the 20th century properties of Frank Kell and Joseph A. Kemp of Wichita Falls, Texas.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Waurika OK area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must 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 knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Waurika OK
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Waurika OK.