How to Find the Best Welder Certificate Program near Winston Salem North Carolina
Locating the right welder trade school near Winston Salem NC is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Winston Salem NC area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach 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 two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Winston Salem NC employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Winston Salem NC area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most 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 considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select 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 a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Winston Salem NC for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Winston Salem NC welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Winston Salem NC contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Winston Salem NC welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Winston Salem NC home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Winston Salem NC, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Winston Salem NC area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Certified Welding Classes Winston Salem NC
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Certified Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic MIG TIG Welding Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Winston Salem NC.
Other North Carolina Welder Locations
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. With a 2019 estimated population of 251,907 it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region, the fifth most populous city in North Carolina, and the eighty-ninth most populous city in the United States. With a metropolitan population of 676,673 it is the fourth largest metropolitan area in North Carolina and is expected to keep that fourth spot for many more years. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.
Winston-Salem is called the "Twin City" for its dual heritage and "City of the Arts and Innovation" for its dedication to fine arts and theater and technological research. "Camel City" is a reference to the city's historic involvement in the tobacco industry related to locally based R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Camel cigarettes. Many locals refer to the city as "Winston" in informal speech. Another nickname, "the Dash," comes from the dash in the city's name (although technically it is a hyphen); this nickname is used by the local minor league baseball team, the Winston-Salem Dash.
In 2012, the city was listed among the ten best places to retire in the United State by CBS MoneyWatch. Winston-Salem has seen a surge in growth and urbanization in the downtown area with hotels, restaurants, and apartments under constrution. In 2017, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal ranked the city second in their lists of the most livable downtowns in America. Winston-Salem tied with Charlotte for the highest growth in small business. WalletHub ranked Winston-Salem the third most affordable large city to start a small business.
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