How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near Wapakoneta Ohio
Selecting the right welding trade school near Wapakoneta OH is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 pick the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welder 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Wapakoneta OH.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally 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 provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Wapakoneta OH employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Wapakoneta OH area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Wapakoneta OH for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Wapakoneta OH welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Wapakoneta OH employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wapakoneta OH welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Wapakoneta OH home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. 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 reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wapakoneta OH, verify that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wapakoneta OH area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful 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 Wapakoneta OH?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Wapakoneta Ohio area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Wapakoneta, pronounced Waw-paw-ko-net-a (as in about; locally [ˌwɒpəkəˈnɛɾə]) is a city in and the county seat of Auglaize County,Ohio, United States approximately 56 mi (90 km) north of Dayton and 83 mi (133 km) SW of Toledo. The population was 9,867 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Wapakoneta, Ohio Micropolitan S A, which is included in the Lima-Van Wert-Wapakoneta, Ohio CSA. The community is served by the Wapakoneta City School District.
Wapakoneta is a sister city to Lengerich, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Lengerich's neighboring municipalities, Ladbergen and Lienen, are sister cities with Wapakoneta's neighbors New Knoxville and Saint Marys, respectively.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.26 square miles (16.21 km2), of which 6.21 square miles (16.08 km2) is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.
Choose the Best Welding Tech Program Wapakoneta OH
Choosing the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Training Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wapakoneta OH.