Category Archives: Virginia

Welding Schools Wakefield VA

How to Select the Right Welding Certification Course near Wakefield Virginia

welder working in Wakefield VA shopLocating the ideal welder trade school near Wakefield VA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

Wakefield VA welder welding carThere are multiple options 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Wakefield VA area.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

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Welder Certification Options

Wakefield VA welding school studentThere are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wakefield VA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 various kinds of welds
  • Work according to contract specifications

As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.

What to Ask Welding Trade Programs

Questions to ask Wakefield VA welding schoolsOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Wakefield VA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you decide on 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 specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain 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 an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Wakefield VA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 establish relationships within the Wakefield VA welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wakefield VA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, 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. If not, ask a local Wakefield VA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Wakefield VA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wakefield VA, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

Wakefield VA student attending welding classes onlineWelding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wakefield VA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need 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 certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Welding Schools Wakefield VA

Wakefield VA welder welding pipeSelecting the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic TIG Welding Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wakefield VA.

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    Wakefield, Virginia

    Wakefield is widely known for the Virginia Diner, the Airfield Conference and 4-H Educational Center and the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office for Eastern Virginia, which issues weather alerts for the region, though the latter two are actually located outside the town limits.

    According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.3 km2), of which, 1.2 square miles (3.2 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2) of it (3.10%) is water.

    Wakefield, one of several stops along the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad in pre-civil war Virginia, is thought to have been named by William Mahone(1826-1895), then president of the N&P, and his wife Otelia Butler Mahone as they traveled the newly completed railroad in 1858. According to local lore, the name came from the Sir Walter Scott novel Ivanhoe, which Mrs. Mahone was reading at the time. The towns of Windsor and Waverly are said to have received their names the same way.

     

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