How to Enroll In the Right Welder Technical School near Wellsburg West Virginia
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near Wellsburg WV 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 alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to receive 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses 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 offered in the Wellsburg WV.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Wellsburg WV employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Wellsburg WV area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types 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 sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Wellsburg WV for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out 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 various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Wellsburg WV welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wellsburg WV contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Wellsburg WV welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Wellsburg WV home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wellsburg WV, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. 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 if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Wellsburg WV area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Wellsburg WV?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Wellsburg West Virginia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Wellsburg, West Virginia
Wellsburg is a city in and the county seat of Brooke County, West Virginia, United States. It is part of the Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 2010 census recorded a population of 2,805. The diverse economy includes one paper mill, a glass gift outlet, several telemarketing facilities, and a factory that does metal fabrication plus plastics molding.
In 1772, the Cox brothers, Friend, Israel, and Jonathan, made tomahawk rights claims totaling 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) in the area now including Wellsburg. In March 1788, Charles Prather purchased 481 acres (1.95 km2) from the Cox heirs for $3,000. In 1791, Prather petitioned Ohio County to incorporate the town of Charlestown, Virginia, naming it after himself. The original name continued until 1816, when it was changed to Wellsburg, to avoid confusion with Charles Town, Jefferson County. The new name was in honor of Charles Wells (1745-1815), Charles Prather's son-in-law, builder of the first large flour warehouse in the east. Late in 1890, nearby Midway and Lazearville were annexed to Wellsburg.
Wellsburg was the home of Patrick Gass, the last surviving member of the Lewis and Clark expedition and author of a memoir of the famous journey. Here also was the home of Joseph Doddridge, author of Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars. In 1832, the original Grimes Golden apple tree was found just east of Wellsburg. The first glass factory in Western Virginia was built at Wellsburg in 1813.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical Program Wellsburg WV
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Technical Schools For Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wellsburg WV.