How to Pick a Welding Certification Class near Whitney Texas
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Whitney TX is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs 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 typical welding programs available in the Whitney TX.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Whitney TX employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Whitney TX area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you select 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 single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Whitney TX for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Whitney TX welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Whitney TX contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Whitney TX welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Whitney TX home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitney TX, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Whitney TX?
Perhaps you live in the Whitney Texas 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.
Lake Whitney (Texas)
Lake Whitney is a flood control reservoir on the main stem of the Brazos River in Texas. It is located on River Mile Marker 442 and controls drainage for 17,656 square miles (45,730 km2) of Texas and parts of New Mexico. The reservoir encompasses a surface area of more than 23,500 acres and 225 miles (362 km) of shoreline. The area consists of rolling, tallgrass prairies; cedar trees; hardwood timber; and 100 ft (30 m) bluffs and rock points. Lake Whitney is also part of the Texas Lakes Trail Region of North Texas.
1940s: The plan to create the Whitney Reservoir (Lake Whitney) on the Brazos River for flood control and other purposes, such as hydro-electric power development, was approved and authorized by Congress in 1944. The dam construction started in 1947 and lasted four years.
1950s: In 1951, the lake was impounded. The dam's power plant was under construction from 1951 to 1953. After a record-breaking drought in Texas during the 1950s, there was an emphasis on reservoirs serving a secondary purpose, with the primary one being flood control, as water storage facilities for Texas residents, communities, businesses, agriculture, and others.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Whitney TX area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover 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 important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Trade School Whitney TX
Selecting the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should 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 curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Whitney TX.