How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Youngsville Pennsylvania
Locating the ideal welding school near Youngsville PA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Youngsville PA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Youngsville PA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Youngsville PA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Youngsville PA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Youngsville PA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Youngsville PA contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Youngsville PA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Youngsville PA home. If you do choose 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 true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers 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 working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Youngsville PA, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Youngsville PA?
Perhaps you live in the Youngsville 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,834 people, 767 households, and 533 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,380.3 people per square mile (532.4/km²). There were 821 housing units at an average density of 617.9 per square mile (238.3/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 99.13% White, 0.38% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 767 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the borough the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Youngsville PA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational Program Youngsville PA
Selecting the right welding training program will probably 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 assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out 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 program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Youngsville PA.