How to Pick the Right Welder Vocational School near Wewoka Oklahoma
Choosing the right welder technical school near Wewoka OK is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to receive 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Wewoka OK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wewoka OK employers not only require 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 dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Wewoka OK area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance 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 qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Wewoka OK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered 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 help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Wewoka OK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher 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 an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Wewoka OK contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wewoka OK welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Wewoka OK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wewoka OK, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, 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 Wewoka OK area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Wewoka OK
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in How to Choose a Welding Trade School near and wanted more information on the topic Learn TIG Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Wewoka OK.
Find More Welding Locations in Oklahoma
Wewoka's history begins with Freedman John Horse, who was also known as Gopher John. In the spring of 1849, Horse and a group of Black Seminoles founded a settlement near modern-day Wewoka. Seeking safety and autonomy from the Creek Nation, they established a community located at the falls of a small stream, lying in the fertile lands between the North and South Canadian Rivers. The steady rush of water over the falls gave rise to the name We-Wo-Ka – meaning "Barking Water" in the Mvskoke (Seminole) language. Other historians claim he named the settlement Wewokea after Osceola's second wife who was of both Seminole and African ancestry.
In autumn of 1849, Horse and Seminole chief Wild Cat led Seminole families into Mexico to avoid the attempts of slavers to raid families and capture people of African descent. The Mexican government offered Wild Cat, Horse and other Seminoles land in Mexico if they could rid the land of renegades who were terrorizing Mexican citizens. Wild Cat was the next hereditary chief of the Seminole Nation but the government appointed its first chief John Jumper instead. The descendants of Wildcat and his band were split for a time between Wewoka, Texas, and Mexico until 1918.
The city was founded in 1866 when Elijah J. Brown, an employee of the federal government led Seminole refugees from Leroy, Kansas to Indian Territory. During the American Civil War, the Seminole Nation had sided with the Confederacy, although many tribe members fled to the relative safety of Kansas, where they remained for the duration of the war. In 1866, after the Confederacy surrendered, the United States government required the Seminole Nation to sign a new treaty, which required them to emancipate their slaves, give freedmen who wanted to stay in the territory full rights as citizens, including voting in the tribe. Brown led the refugees back to Wewoka, here he built himself a house and established a trading post. Freedmen settled in Wewoka along with the Seminole and Elijah Brown was the only legal white settler in the town. The trading post had several subsequent proprietors before it was bought by two Seminole brothers, John Frippo Brown and A. J. Brown, and became the Wewoka Trading Company in 1891.[a] Rev. James Ross Ramsey, a Presbyterian missionary, founded the Ramsey Mission (considered the first school in present Seminole County) in 1866. A post office was established on May 13, 1867 with E. J. Brown as first postmaster. The Seminole Nation made Wewoka their capital city and Seminole Governor John Brown had a log house erected at Wewoka as the Seminole capitol in 1877.[b][c]