How to Find the Right Welder Certification Program near Metairie Louisiana
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Metairie LA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish 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 Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available near Metairie LA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Metairie LA area trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach 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 finish and are most often offered by Louisiana community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Metairie LA.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Metairie LA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Metairie LA employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless 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 near Metairie LA. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Tech Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Metairie LA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Metairie LA welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other Metairie LA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Metairie LA contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Metairie LA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Metairie LA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Metairie LA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Metairie LA
Metairie (/ˈmɛtəri/ MET-ər-ee; French: Métairie [metɛʁi]) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States and is a major section of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area. Metairie is the largest community in Jefferson Parish and the fifth-largest CDP in the United States. It is an unincorporated area that would be Louisiana's fourth-largest city if it were incorporated. The zip codes that serve the community are 70001-70006.
Métairie is the French term for a small tenant farm which paid the landlord with a share of the produce, also known as sharecropping. In the 1760s, many of the original French farmers were tenants; after the Civil War, the majority of the community's inhabitants were sharecroppers until urbanization started in the 1910s.
In the 1720s French settlers became the first Europeans to settle Metairie in the area known then as Tchoupitoulas and now as Metairie Ridge, a natural levee formed by an ancient branch of the Mississippi River which flowed through modern-day River Ridge, Metairie, Gentilly, and New Orleans East. It emptied into Mississippi Sound. The Acolapissa Native Americans used this ridge as a road, and it is the oldest road in the New Orleans area. Paved in the 1920s, it is called Metairie Road. An electric streetcar was installed running along Metairie Road in the late 1910s, opening the area to greater development. Upscale housing tracts were constructed off the road in the 1920s; this area is now known as "Old Metairie." It is today the most prestigious area of Metairie. The areas to the north and northwest of Metairie Road were not developed until after World War II. The land between Metairie Ridge and Lake Pontchartrain, which was cypress swamps and marshlands, was drained with the Wood Pump. With development of this new land for residences, Metairie's population grew in the 1940s as a result of cheaper land, lower taxes, and larger lots than in Orleans Parish.
In 1990, Metairie made history when one of its districts elected white supremacist David Duke to the Louisiana state legislature for a single term. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused a new migration from Orleans Parish, because housing was needed to replace what had been destroyed in the flooding of the city. It has been a racially neutral migration, with equal numbers of black and white residents moving to Jefferson Parish. The 2010 Census showed that Metairie has increasingly become more diverse.
Pick the Right Welding Trade Program Metairie LA
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Metairie LA.