How to Pick a Welder Degree Program near Troutdale Oregon
Choosing the right welding trade school near Troutdale OR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade 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 wise to develop 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Troutdale OR.
- Diploma and Certificate 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 mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Troutdale OR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech School
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Troutdale OR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that most people consider 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 provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose 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 an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Troutdale OR 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place 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 establish associations within the Troutdale OR 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 program 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 dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Troutdale OR contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Troutdale OR welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Troutdale OR home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region 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 possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Troutdale OR, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Troutdale OR?
Perhaps you live in the Troutdale Oregon 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.
Troutdale is a city in Multnomah County, Oregon, U.S.A., north of Gresham and east of Wood Village. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,962. The city serves as the western gateway to the Historic Columbia River Highway, the Mount Hood Scenic Byway, and the Columbia River Gorge.
The community was once known as Sandy, after the nearby Sandy River; Sandy post office was established in 1854 and closed in 1868. In 1873, the current city of Sandy in Clackamas County, which was formerly named "Revenue", established a different Sandy post office that is still in operation. Troutdale was named by pioneer John Harlow for the trout pond in a dale near his house. Troutdale post office was founded in 1880. In 1920, a company called the "Bissinger Company" or "Bissinger Wool Pullery" built a firm and a water tower in the city, which are both standing and can both be seen today. The company was supposedly featured in a Ripley's Believe it or Not! column because a cat was found in a stack of animal hides that the company was going to use for its products. The cat was taken care of and became the company's mascot. The cat lived a long and healthy life. The water tower is now known as the "Old Historic Water Tower".
Reynolds Aluminum was once the area's biggest employer. The Reynolds plant in Troutdale was established in 1941 to provide aluminum for the war effort. The plant closed in 2000. The nearby city of Wood Village was a company town founded to house workers from the Reynolds plant.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Troutdale OR area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical Program Troutdale OR
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Troutdale OR.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 21