How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Tariff West Virginia
Locating the ideal welding school near Tariff WV is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select 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? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Tariff WV.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Tariff WV employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Tariff WV area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Tariff WV for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Tariff WV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Tariff WV employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Tariff WV welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Tariff WV home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tariff WV, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Tariff WV?
Perhaps you live in the Tariff West Virginia 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.
John E. Kenna
Kenna was born near Colemouth, Virginia, in Kanawha County (now St. Albans, West Virginia) and lived his early life at Upper Falls, where his father was lockmaster and owned a sawmill. He had little education, and at the age of 16 he served in the "Iron Brigade" with General Joseph O. Shelby in the Confederate States Army and was wounded. After returning home, he read law and was admitted to the bar in 1870. He became very active in the emerging Democratic Party of West Virginia.
He rose from prosecuting attorney of Kanawha County in 1872 to Justice pro tempore of the county circuit in 1875, and to the United States House of Representatives in 1876. While in the House he championed railroad legislation and crusaded for aid for slack-water navigation to help the coal, timber, and salt industries in his state. These activities earned him a seat in the United States Senate in 1883, where he continued fighting for his two causes.
Kenna became Democratic minority leader and emerged as a powerful and controversial speaker on the issue of the independence of the executive branch of the government. He forcefully defended President Grover Cleveland on several issues and indicted the Senate Republican majority for failure to pass tariff reforms. His brilliant career was cut short with his sudden death at the age of 44 on January 11, 1893.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Tariff WV area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Tariff WV
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit 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 program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Tariff WV.