How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Silver Point Tennessee
Choosing the ideal welder vocational school near Silver Point TN is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns 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 initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine 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 obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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 descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Silver Point TN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Silver Point TN employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Silver Point TN area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, 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 career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Silver Point TN 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Silver Point TN welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Silver Point TN employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over 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 using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Silver Point TN welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Silver Point TN home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation 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 a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Silver Point TN, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Silver Point TN?
Perhaps you live in the Silver Point Tennessee 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.
Falling Water River
The Falling Water River is a 46.8-mile-long (75.3 km) stream in the east-central portion of Middle Tennessee in the United States. It rises just west of Monterey at the edge of the Cumberland Plateau, and traverses the Eastern Highland Rim before dropping off to the Nashville Basin and emptying into Center Hill Lake along the Caney Fork. The river is noted for the 136-foot (41 m) Burgess Falls, which it spills over near the end of its course.
The river rises in Welch Hollow, a dissected portion of the Cumberland Plateau that lies just west of Monterey in eastern Putnam County, and descends more than 600 feet (180 m) before exiting the hollow at the southern edge of Buck Mountain. It passes under Interstate 40 near mile marker 291 before entering City Lake, a reservoir that provides water and water treatment for nearby Cookeville. Just beyond the City Lake Dam, the river passes under U.S. Highway 70 as it turns southwestwardly through rural southern Putnam County.
After flowing through a series of sharp bends, the river passes under Tennessee Highway 111 before entering northern White County, winding its way through a rural area to the north and west of the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport. The river again reaches (and forms) the Putnam-White county line before entering Burgess Falls Lake, a reservoir built in the early 1920s to provide electricity for Cookeville. The river passes under State Highway 135 just upstream from the reservoir's dam. Beyond the dam, the river enters a gorge and flows over a series of three waterfalls, culminating in the 136-foot Burgess Falls, as it drops from the Highland Rim to the Nashville Basin.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Silver Point TN area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished 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 knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Ideal Welding Trade School Silver Point TN
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Silver Point TN.