How to Select a Welder Certification Class near Walls Mississippi
Locating the right welding vocational school near Walls MS is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Programs
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available near Walls MS.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Walls MS area technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by Mississippi community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares 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 welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Walls MS.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Walls MS employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Walls MS employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Walls MS. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Pick a Welder Vocational School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Walls MS area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Walls MS welding tech school you decide on 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 certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various Walls MS metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Walls MS contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Walls MS welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Walls MS home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out 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 employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Walls MS, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Walls MS
Walls is a town located in northern DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States, near the Mississippi River, part of the larger region known as "The Delta", and known for its rich, dark soil. As it is in the upper northwest corner of Mississippi, it is in the Memphis, Tennessee metropolitan area. Its ZIP code is 38680. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,162, with an estimated population of 1,263 in 2014.
A Mississippian culture village site near Walls, the Walls Site, gives its name to the Walls Phase, the last prehistoric cultural expression before European contact. The historic trail of Hernando de Soto leads through DeSoto County to near Walls.
Today, Walls is a community rich in agriculture. Cotton, soybeans, rice and corn are planted each spring. The railroad played a vital part in the growth of the area in the early to mid 1900s. The mechanical revolution of the 1950s and 1960s changed Walls, as well as many other Delta communities.
The town was home to noted blues singer Memphis Minnie, whose family moved to Walls from Algiers, Louisiana, in 1904, when she was 7 years old. She won top female vocalist in the first Blues Unlimited Readers' Poll in 1973. In 1980, she was elected to the Hall of Fame at the inaugural W.C. Handy Awards. Memphis Minnie died August 6, 1973, and is buried in New Hope Cemetery in Walls. Her headstone was made possible by contributions from Bonnie Raitt and John Fogerty.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Walls MS
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best 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 sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Walls MS.