How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Sulphur Louisiana
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Sulphur LA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick 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 residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Sulphur LA area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing 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 welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Sulphur LA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Sulphur LA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. 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, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Sulphur LA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Sulphur LA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Sulphur LA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider 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 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. If not, ask a local Sulphur LA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Sulphur LA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree 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 needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sulphur LA, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Sulphur LA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start 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 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 would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Enroll in Accredited Welding Classes Sulphur LA
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in How to Enroll in Accredited Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic How to Enroll in Weekend Welding Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Sulphur LA.
Other Louisiana Welder Locations
Sulphur is named for the sulfur mines that were operated in the area in the 1900s. In 1867, Professor Eugene W. Hilgard, an experienced geologist who was prospecting for oil and other minerals, conducted exploratory borings in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana and discovered sulfur in the caprock of a salt dome. However, the sulfur was beneath several hundred feet of muck and quicksand containing deadly hydrogen sulfide gas, which made mining extremely hazardous. Repeated unsuccessful attempts to sink conventional mining shafts in the 1870s and 1880s resulted in the loss of many lives.
In 1890, the German immigrant Herman Frasch invented and patented the Frasch Process of mining sulfur, using concentric pipes to pump superheated water into the ground, liquefy the mineral, and force the liquid to the surface with compressed air. The first molten sulfur was brought to the surface on Christmas Eve of 1894. Sulfur soon began to be mined on an industrial scale, with the molten mineral allowed to solidify and dry in enormous vats 100 by 400 feet, then blasted and hauled by rail to the Sabine River for shipment. Frasch's invention greatly facilitated sulfur mining, and the Union Sulphur Company, a joint venture of Dr. Frasch and the American Sulphur Company that owned the land, sparked a period of booming growth in the decades that followed. The elementary school on South Huntington Street in downtown Sulphur is named after Frasch.
With the addition of the Cities Service (Citgo) oil refinery in 1943, the areas of Maplewood and Hollywood were developed to house refinery workers. The Sulphur area is still mostly dependent on the oil refineries and petrochemical plants for employment.
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