How to Choose a Welding Training Program near Theresa Wisconsin
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Theresa WI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Theresa WI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Theresa WI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Theresa WI area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Theresa WI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 establish relationships within the Theresa WI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Theresa WI employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Theresa WI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Theresa WI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Theresa WI, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Theresa WI?
Perhaps you live in the Theresa Wisconsin 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.
During World War I more than 600 people from over a dozen surrounding communities prevented former mayor of Milwaukee and Socialist party member Emil Seidel from holding a "pro-German" meeting in Theresa.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.82 square miles (2.12 km2), of which, 0.80 square miles (2.07 km2) of it is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,262 people, 539 households, and 365 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,577.5 inhabitants per square mile (609.1/km2). There were 588 housing units at an average density of 735.0 per square mile (283.8/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.5% White, 0.4% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Theresa WI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across 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.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade School Theresa WI
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Theresa WI.