How to Choose the Best Welding Vocational School near Greenville Pennsylvania
Finding the ideal welding technical school near Greenville PA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Greenville PA area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Greenville PA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds 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 sure that the welding technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Greenville PA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example 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 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 help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Greenville PA 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. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Greenville PA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Greenville PA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Greenville PA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Greenville PA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville PA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain 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 work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Greenville PA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to 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 obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover 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.
Where To Learn To Weld Greenville PA
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where To Learn To Weld and wanted more information on the topic Underwater Welding School. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Greenville PA.
Find More Welding Locations in Pennsylvania
Greenville is a borough in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States. Located along the Shenango River, it lies roughly 80 miles from both Pittsburgh and Cleveland. It is just under 2.0 square miles in area, and had a population of 6380 in the 2000 U.S. census.
Greenville is located in northwest Pennsylvania at 41°24′18″N 80°23′12″W / 41.40500°N 80.38667°W / 41.40500; -80.38667 (41.404998, −80.386651), along the Shenango River. Its altitude is 945 feet (288 m) above sea level.
Greenville was known for its manufacturing interests, including railroad shops, bridge works, gristmills, a cement-block plant, an automobile factory, foundries and machine shops, saw and planing mills, steelworks, a railroad-car manufacturer, and flour mills. Water power was supplied by the Shenango River.