How to Select a Welder Training Program near Winnemucca Nevada
Locating the right welding vocational school near Winnemucca NV is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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 Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Winnemucca NV.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Winnemucca NV employers not only demand a certificate or degree 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 dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just 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 certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Winnemucca NV area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Winnemucca NV for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Winnemucca NV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, 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 program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Winnemucca NV employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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 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 Winnemucca NV welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Winnemucca NV home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and find out 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 considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Winnemucca NV, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Winnemucca NV?
Perhaps you live in the Winnemucca Nevada 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.
Winnemucca (/ˌwɪnəˈmʌkə/ ( listen)) is the only incorporated city in and is the county seat of Humboldt County, Nevada, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 7,396, up 3.1 percent from the 2000 census figure of 7,174. Interstate 80 passes through the city, where it meets U.S. Route 95.
The town was named for the 19th-century Chief Winnemucca of the local Northern Paiute tribe, who traditionally lived in this area. He and his band had a camp near here. Winnemucca, loosely translated, means "one moccasin." The chief's daughter, Sarah Winnemucca, was an advocate for education and fair treatment of the Paiute and Shoshone tribes in the area. Their family all learned to speak English, and Sarah worked as an interpreter, scout and messenger for the United States Army during the Bannock War of 1878. In 1883 Sarah Winnemucca published the first autobiography written by a Native American woman, based on hundreds of lectures she'd given in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. It has been described as "one of the most enduring ethno-historical books written by an American Indian."
On September 16, 1868, the Central Pacific Railroad reached Winnemucca, and was officially opened on October 1 of that year. It was on the First Transcontinental Railroad. It was part of the transcontinental line.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Winnemucca NV area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like 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 careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Tech School Winnemucca NV
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Winnemucca NV.