How to Pick a Welder Certification Course near Vandalia Ohio
Finding the right welder school near Vandalia OH is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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 several 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available near Vandalia OH.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Vandalia OH area technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by Ohio community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Vandalia OH.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Vandalia OH employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent 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 specific kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Vandalia OH employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless 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 Vandalia OH. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Trade School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Vandalia OH area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Vandalia OH welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other Vandalia OH 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Vandalia OH contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools 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 taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Vandalia OH welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Vandalia OH home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from 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 provides 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Vandalia OH, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in Vandalia OH
Vandalia is a city in Montgomery County, Ohio, United States, and a suburb of Dayton. Its population was 15,246 during the 2010 census. In addition to being the city closest to Dayton International Airport, Vandalia lies at the crossroads of I-75 and I-70, making it a major hub for business.
Vandalia is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Dayton on Dixie Drive (former U.S. Highway 25). It is between the Great Miami River and the Stillwater River. The city has been called the "Crossroads of America" due to its location on the National Road and the Dixie Highway. These correspond to U.S. Route 40 and former U.S. Route 25, which in turn, have been supplanted by two major expressways: east-west Interstate 70 and north-south Interstate 75.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.41 square miles (32.14 km2), of which, 12.34 square miles (31.96 km2) is land and 0.07 square miles (0.18 km2) is water.
On August 17, 1838, Benjamin Wilhelm, a settler from Pennsylvania, settled near the intersection of U.S. Route 40 and US Route 25-A. He built his home and a small general store as a stop and resting place for travelers heading west. The small town began to attract travelers and entrepreneurs, and on February 7, 1848 the town was incorporated as "The Village of Vandalia" with Benjamin Wilhelm as its first mayor. The village was laid out in 38 lots including a church, hotels, blacksmiths shops, a steam sawmill, meat markets, and a carriage shop. It was named after Vandalia, Illinois.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School Vandalia OH
Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Vandalia OH.