How to Select the Best Welding Technical School near Lowell Indiana
Enrolling in the right welder school near Lowell IN is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 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.
Request Free Information on Welding Schools Near You
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Lowell IN area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. 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 working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Click Here to Get Free Information on Welding Schools Near You!
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Lowell IN employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Lowell IN area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, 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 might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Lowell IN for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Lowell IN welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lowell IN contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Lowell IN welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Lowell IN home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lowell IN, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lowell IN area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Guide to Accredited Welding Colleges Near Me Lowell IN
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Guide to Accredited Welding Colleges Near Me and wanted more information on the topic Guide to Weekend Welding Colleges Near Me. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lowell IN.
Other Indiana Welder Locations
Business Results 1 - 10 of 10