How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Summertown Tennessee
Choosing the right welding school near Summertown TN is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 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 Courses
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Summertown TN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Summertown TN employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. 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
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Summertown TN area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many 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 must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career 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 welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Summertown TN for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Summertown TN welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Summertown TN contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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 Summertown TN welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Summertown TN home. If you do decide 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 degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Summertown TN, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Summertown TN area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Summertown TN?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Summertown Tennessee area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The Farm (Tennessee)
The Farm is an intentional community in Lewis County, Tennessee, near the town of Summertown, Tennessee, based on principles of nonviolence and respect for the Earth. It was founded in 1971 by Stephen Gaskin, and 300 spiritual seekers from Haight Ashbury and San Francisco. The Farm is well known among hippies and members of the counterculture and around the world as the home of modern midwifery. It is widely respected for its many nonprofits, including Plenty International, a relief and development organization, and Swan Conservation Trust, who established the 1,358 acres (550 ha) Big Swan Headwaters Preserve. The Farm has approximately 200 members and residents.
The Farm was established after Stephen Gaskin and friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four-month speaking tour across the US. Along the way, they became a community, lacking only in land to put down roots. After returning to California, the decision was made to buy land together. Combining all their resources would finance purchase of only about fifty acres in California. Another month on the road brought the group back to Tennessee, where they checked out various places that might be suitable to settle. They decided on property in Lewis County, about seventy miles south of Nashville. After buying 1,064 acres (4.1 km2) for $70 per acre, the group began building its community in the woods alongside the network of crude logging roads that followed its ridgelines. Shortly thereafter, an adjoining 750 acres (3.0 km2) were purchased for $100 per acre.
From its founding in the 1970s, Farm members took vows of poverty and owned no personal possessions other than clothing and tools, though this restriction loosened as time passed. During that time, Farm members did not use artificial birth control, alcohol, tobacco, man-made psychotropics, or animal products. Many of the early buildings on the Farm were unconventional, ranging from converted school buses to modified 16 x 32 army tents. Over time, larger homes were constructed, each providing shelter for multiple families and single people, often with up to 40 people under one roof. Visitors were also housed in a two-story tent made by sewing two army tents together.
Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Summertown TN
Picking the best welding 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 Hyperbaric Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Summertown TN.