How to Pick a Welding Degree Program near Waynesboro Mississippi
Locating the right welding school near Waynesboro MS is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered near Waynesboro MS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Waynesboro MS area technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by Mississippi community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Waynesboro MS.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Waynesboro MS employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Waynesboro MS employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless 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 near Waynesboro MS. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Waynesboro MS area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Waynesboro MS welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction 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 assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other Waynesboro MS metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Waynesboro MS contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Waynesboro MS welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Waynesboro MS home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Waynesboro MS, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Waynesboro MS
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 5,043 people residing in the city. 61.9% were African American, 35.2% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from some other race and 1.0% of two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,197 people, 1,982 households, and 1,335 families residing in the city. The population density was 781.6 people per square mile (301.7/km²). There were 2,276 housing units at an average density of 342.3 per square mile (132.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.54% White, 57.28% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.25% from other races, and 0.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.94% of the population.
There were 1,982 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 82.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.3 males.
Find the Best Welding Technical Program Waynesboro MS
Picking the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Waynesboro MS.