How to Choose the Best Welding Training Class near Whittier North Carolina
Locating the right welding vocational school near Whittier NC is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Whittier NC area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Whittier NC employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Whittier NC area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder vocational 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 two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Whittier NC for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 placement 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Whittier NC welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Whittier NC contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, 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 Whittier NC welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Whittier NC home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whittier NC, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Whittier NC area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Welding Certification Courses Whittier NC
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Courses and wanted more information on the topic Private Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Whittier NC.
Find More Welding Locations in North Carolina
Whittier, North Carolina
Whittier is an unincorporated community in Jackson and Swain counties in the western part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Whittier is located on the Tuckasegee River, between Bryson City downstream to the west, and Dillsboro upstream to the southeast.
Founded in 1881 by Clark Whittier when he purchased 60,000 acres (240 km²) of land in the area, it was incorporated as a town from 1887 to 1933. The town declined following the collapse of the lumber industry during the Great Depression.