How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near Clarksville Indiana
Enrolling in the right welding trade school near Clarksville IN is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to receive 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Clarksville IN area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
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Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Clarksville IN 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 variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Clarksville IN area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school 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 essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select 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 may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Clarksville IN for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Clarksville IN welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Clarksville IN contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Clarksville IN welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Clarksville IN home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clarksville IN, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Clarksville IN area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start 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 performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited 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 cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Compare Online Welding Programs Clarksville IN
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Compare Online Welding Programs and wanted more information on the topic Compare Part Time Welding Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Clarksville IN.
Other Indiana Welder Locations
Clarksville is the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States. It is the fifth-largest city in the state behind Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The city had a population of 132,929 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 153,205 in 2017.
It is the principal central city of the Clarksville, TN–KY metropolitan statistical area, which consists of Montgomery and Stewart counties in Tennessee, and Christian and Trigg counties in Kentucky. The city was founded in 1785 and incorporated in 1807, and named for General George Rogers Clark, frontier fighter and Revolutionary War hero, and brother of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Clarksville is the home of Austin Peay State University; The Leaf-Chronicle, the oldest newspaper in Tennessee; and neighbor to the Fort Campbell, United States Army base. Site of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell is located about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Clarksville, and spans the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. While the post office for the base is located on the Kentucky side, the majority of the base's acreage is on the Tennessee side.
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