How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Kahului Hawaii
Choosing the ideal welder school near Kahului HI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. 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 considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several options 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Kahului HI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Kahului HI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Kahului HI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Kahului HI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 Kahului HI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Kahului HI employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Kahului HI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Kahului HI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kahului HI, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Kahului HI area that can 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 beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant 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 need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Kahului HI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Kahului Hawaii area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Kahului is a census-designated place (CDP) on the island of Maui in the U.S. state of Hawaii. It hosts Maui's main airport (Kahului Airport), deep-draft harbor, light industrial areas, and commercial shopping centers. The population was 26,337 at the 2010 census. Kahului is part of the Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina Metropolitan Statistical Area which includes nearby Wailuku and the town and former whaling village of Lahaina.
The retail center for Maui residents, Kahului has several malls and major stores (including department stores in the Queen Kaahumanu Center); other significant groupings of stores are in Lāhainā such as the Lahaina Cannery Mall, the Happy Valley area of Wailuku, Maui Market Place and Maui Mall, which are both also located in Kahului; and The Shops at Wailea in Wailea.
Kahului is not generally considered a tourist destination. It does feature the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanaha Beach County Park, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Kahului HI
Selecting the right welder school 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 School For Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kahului HI.