How to Choose a Welder Training Class near Tangipahoa Louisiana
Choosing the right welder vocational school near Tangipahoa LA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. 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 reviewing 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 establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Classes
There are multiple options available to obtain 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Tangipahoa LA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Tangipahoa LA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Tangipahoa LA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Tangipahoa LA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Tangipahoa LA 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 program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 trade, but also that it has the network of Tangipahoa LA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Tangipahoa LA welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Tangipahoa LA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tangipahoa LA, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Tangipahoa LA?
Perhaps you live in the Tangipahoa Louisiana 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.
Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Tangipahoa Parish ( /ˌtændʒɪpəˈhoʊə/; French: Paroisse de Tangipahoa) is a parish located in the southeast of the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 121,097. The parish seat is Amite City, while the largest city is Hammond. Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond. Lake Pontchartrain borders the southeast side of the parish.
Tangipahoa Parish comprises the Hammond, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS Combined Statistical Area. It is one of what are called the Florida Parishes, at one time part of West Florida.
Tangipahoa Parish was organized in 1869, during Reconstruction, when it was put together from territory taken from Livingston Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish. It was named after the Tangipahoa River and the historic Tangipahoa Native American people of this area. Tangipahoa is the youngest parish in the Florida Parishes region of southern Louisiana.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Tangipahoa LA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 desire 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 cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Trade School Tangipahoa LA
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tangipahoa LA.