How to Choose a Welder Vocational School near Van Vleet Mississippi
Locating the ideal welding school near Van Vleet MS is an important first step to beginning 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 choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options to get 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Van Vleet MS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, 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 complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Van Vleet MS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Van Vleet MS area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Van Vleet MS for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined 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 considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Van Vleet MS welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Van Vleet MS employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Van Vleet MS welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Van Vleet MS home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average 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 just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Van Vleet MS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Van Vleet MS?
Perhaps you live in the Van Vleet Mississippi 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.
Van Vleet, Mississippi
Van Vleet is an unincorporated community in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Van Vleet is located at the junction of Mississippi Highway 32 and Mississippi Highway 385, 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Houston. Van Vleet has a post office with ZIP code 38877.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Van Vleet MS area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Tech Program Van Vleet MS
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, 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 provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Van Vleet MS.