How to Choose a Welding Training Program near York Haven Pennsylvania
Finding the ideal welding trade school near York Haven PA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder 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 selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the York Haven PA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach 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 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many York Haven PA employers not only demand 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 available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means 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 verify that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the York Haven PA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types 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 example Welding Technology. So verify 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in York Haven PA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon 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 other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the York Haven PA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of York Haven PA contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local York Haven PA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your York Haven PA 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 particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near York Haven PA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near York Haven PA?
Perhaps you live in the York Haven Pennsylvania 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.
York Haven, Pennsylvania
York Haven is a borough in York County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 709 at the 2010 census. The borough is the home of the Brunner Island coal-fired electrical generation plant, located on the Susquehanna River on Wago Road and operated by PPL.
As of the census of 2000, there were 809 people, 278 households, and 197 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,531.8 people per square mile (976.1/km²). There were 305 housing units at an average density of 954.5 per square mile (368.0/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.04% White, 0.74% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.24% of the population.
There were 278 households out of which 48.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.40.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater York Haven PA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical 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 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 obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational Program York Haven PA
Choosing the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are considering 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 on. Classroom instruction 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. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose 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 York Haven PA.