How to Select the Right Welding Certificate Program near Williamstown West Virginia
Enrolling in the right welder vocational school near Williamstown WV is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by checking out 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 tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation 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 selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Williamstown WV.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Williamstown WV employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected 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 skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Williamstown WV area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Williamstown WV for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Williamstown WV welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, 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 confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Williamstown WV contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Williamstown WV welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Williamstown WV home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may 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 provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamstown WV, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Williamstown WV area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Williamstown WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Williamstown West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Williamstown, West Virginia
Williamstown is a city in Wood County, West Virginia, United States, along the Ohio River. It is part of the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna metropolitan area. The population was 2,908 at the 2010 census. The now closed Fenton Art Glass Company was located in the city.
Williamstown was named for Isaac Williams (1737–1820), who settled here in 1787. Williams had served under General Braddock (1755) as a ranger and spy and under Governor Dunmore (1774) fighting against the Shawnee. His home was on 400 acres on the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Muskingum River, site of Marietta, Ohio, which was founded about a year after he arrived. Other local namesakes include Williams Creek and Williams District. The settlement was known as "Williamsport" to Ohio River travelers until 1822 when the present name was formalized.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,908 people, 1,254 households, and 848 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,107.2 inhabitants per square mile (813.6/km2). There were 1,352 housing units at an average density of 979.7 per square mile (378.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
Select the Right Welding Vocational School Williamstown WV
Choosing the right welding 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 Best Colleges For Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Williamstown WV.