How to Select a Welding Training Class near West Bend Wisconsin
Locating the right welding trade school near West Bend WI is an essential first step to launching 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the West Bend WI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many West Bend WI employers not only require 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 available based on the type of work that the welder performs. 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 types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the West Bend WI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected 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 essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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 specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in West Bend WI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 help students find employment and develop associations within the West Bend WI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of West Bend WI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local West Bend WI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your West Bend WI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Bend WI, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near West Bend WI?
Perhaps you live in the West Bend Wisconsin 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.
West Bend, Wisconsin
In 1845, the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature authorized the building of a road to connect Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. Byron Kilbourn, one of the highway commissioners, and Jasper Vliet, a surveyor, were put in charge of determining the route the road would take and of identifying a good halfway point for travelers. The path they chose is now U.S. Route 45 and the rest stop is present-day West Bend. Because many people used the resting place, it evolved into a popular area. The Milwaukee River running through the town eventually played a major role in the city's history. It was because of the western bend in the river that West Bend got its name. The river also produced enough energy to power saw mills and gristmills. Early buildings included Holy Angels Catholic Church, built in 1852 at the corner of Hickory and 7th. In 1866 this building was converted into a school, and a new church was built at Elm and 7th under the direction of Reverend Johann Baptist Reindl (1827–1891); the building is now Trinity Lutheran Church. The railroad arrived in 1873, bringing with it more settlers and industrialization. At this time, West Bend saw a growth spurt, and in 1885 the city officially became an incorporated Wisconsin community.
In 1845 early settler Barton Salisbury, while on a surveying trip up the Milwaukee River, found a rapids that he believed would be a good source of power for a sawmill. He built a log hut on the west side of the river and the village of Barton was born. On November 1, 1961, the city of West Bend annexed the Village of Barton.
In 2009, a controversy arose after a local couple complained to the West Bend Community Memorial Library about the presence of "sexually explicit books" and "books for youth on homosexuality" in the young adult section of the library. A petition called on the library to label the identified books as explicit, move them to the adult section of the library, install Internet content filters on the library's computers, and "adopt a policy to attain balance in the viewpoints of selections (both affirming and opposing) that the libraries carry in issues sufficiently controversial within the West Bend community (i.e. homosexuality). Specifically, we request faith-based and/or ex-gay books affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives be added to the library."
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater West Bend WI area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program West Bend WI
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Bend WI.
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