How to Find the Right Welding Certification Course near Wheeling West Virginia
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Wheeling WV is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welding trade 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Wheeling WV.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned 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 2 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Wheeling WV employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Wheeling WV area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn 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 recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Wheeling WV for schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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 welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 establish associations within the Wheeling WV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Wheeling WV contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to 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. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 Wheeling WV welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Wheeling WV home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several 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.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wheeling WV, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Wheeling WV area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Wheeling WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Wheeling West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Wheeling, West Virginia
Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia. Located almost entirely in Ohio County, of which it is the county seat, it lies along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia and later an important city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wheeling was the first state capital of West Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, including the Ohio River, National Road, and the B&O Railroad, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. After experiencing the closing of factories and substantial population loss following World War II, Wheeling's major industries now include healthcare, education, law and legal services, entertainment and tourism, and energy.
Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the MSA had a population of 147,950, and the city itself had a population of 28,486. Wheeling is the current seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston.
The origins of the name "Wheeling" are disputed. One of the more credible explanations is that the word comes from the Lenni-Lenape phrase wih link or wee lunk, which meant "place of the head" or "place of the skull." This supposedly referred to a white settler who was scalped and decapitated. His severed head was displayed at the confluence of Wheeling Creek and the Ohio River. The area had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. In the 17th century, the Iroquois from present-day New York state conquered the upper Ohio Valley, pushing out other tribes and maintaining the area as their hunting ground.
Pick the Best Welding Tech Program Wheeling WV
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Training For Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wheeling WV.