How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near West Bend Wisconsin
Locating the right welding vocational school near West Bend WI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the West Bend WI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous West Bend WI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge 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 earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the West Bend WI area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose 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 evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in West Bend WI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the West Bend WI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of West Bend WI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local West Bend WI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your West Bend WI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Bend WI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater West Bend WI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until 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 desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in West Bend WI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the West Bend Wisconsin area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
West Bend, Wisconsin
In 1845, the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature authorized the building of a road to connect Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. Byron Kilbourn, one of the highway commissioners, and Jasper Vliet, a surveyor, were put in charge of determining the route the road would take and of identifying a good halfway point for travelers. The path they chose is now U.S. Route 45 and the rest stop is present-day West Bend. Because many people used the resting place, it evolved into a popular area. The Milwaukee River running through the town eventually played a major role in the city's history. It was because of the western bend in the river that West Bend got its name. The river also produced enough energy to power saw mills and gristmills. Early buildings included Holy Angels Catholic Church, built in 1852 at the corner of Hickory and 7th. In 1866 this building was converted into a school, and a new church was built at Elm and 7th under the direction of Reverend Johann Baptist Reindl (1827–1891); the building is now Trinity Lutheran Church. The railroad arrived in 1873, bringing with it more settlers and industrialization. At this time, West Bend saw a growth spurt, and in 1885 the city officially became an incorporated Wisconsin community.
In 1845 early settler Barton Salisbury, while on a surveying trip up the Milwaukee River, found a rapids that he believed would be a good source of power for a sawmill. He built a log hut on the west side of the river and the village of Barton was born. On November 1, 1961, the city of West Bend annexed the Village of Barton.
In 2009, a controversy arose after a local couple complained to the West Bend Community Memorial Library about the presence of "sexually explicit books" and "books for youth on homosexuality" in the young adult section of the library. A petition called on the library to label the identified books as explicit, move them to the adult section of the library, install Internet content filters on the library's computers, and "adopt a policy to attain balance in the viewpoints of selections (both affirming and opposing) that the libraries carry in issues sufficiently controversial within the West Bend community (i.e. homosexuality). Specifically, we request faith-based and/or ex-gay books affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives be added to the library."
Select the Best Welding Vocational School West Bend WI
Choosing the ideal welding school will undoubtedly 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 Welding Certificate Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect 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, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Bend WI.
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