How to Find the Right Welder Certificate Program near Whitehall Wisconsin
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Whitehall WI is an essential first step to starting 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 fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Whitehall WI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Whitehall WI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Tech Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Whitehall WI area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose 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 superior education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Whitehall WI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Whitehall WI 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 important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. 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 a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Whitehall WI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Whitehall WI welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Whitehall WI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses 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 provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Whitehall WI, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Whitehall WI?
Perhaps you live in the Whitehall 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,558 people, 665 households, and 382 families residing in the city. The population density was 556.4 inhabitants per square mile (214.8/km2). There were 741 housing units at an average density of 264.6 per square mile (102.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.5% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.
There were 665 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.6% were non-families. 36.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.92.
The median age in the city was 42 years. 23.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.7% were from 45 to 64; and 19.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Whitehall WI area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most significant 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 done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Whitehall WI
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Whitehall WI.