How to Select the Right Welder Certification Class near Springfield Tennessee
Finding the right welder vocational school near Springfield TN is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Springfield TN.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Springfield TN employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some 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 certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Springfield TN area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two 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 school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Springfield TN for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Springfield TN 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 essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Springfield TN contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Springfield TN welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Springfield TN home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Springfield TN, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Springfield TN area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire 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 careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Springfield TN?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Springfield Tennessee area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Springfield is a city in and the county seat of Robertson County, which is located in Middle Tennessee on the northern border of the state. The population was 16,478 at the 2010 census and 16,659 in 2013.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,329 people, 5,453 households, and 3,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,173.9 people per square mile (453.1/km²). There were 5,836 housing units at an average density of 478.1 per square mile (184.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.56% White, 25.91% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.94% of the population.
There were 5,453 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Springfield TN
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Short Course Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Springfield TN.