How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Skiatook Oklahoma
Choosing the right welder trade school near Skiatook OK is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered near Skiatook OK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Skiatook OK area trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by Oklahoma 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.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Skiatook OK.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Skiatook OK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Skiatook OK employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Skiatook OK. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welder Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Skiatook OK area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Skiatook OK welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other Skiatook OK metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Skiatook OK employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Skiatook OK welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Skiatook OK home. If you do choose 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 the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Skiatook OK, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Skiatook OK
Skiatook (Skī·ǎ·tōōk or Skī·ǎ·tǒǒk versus Skī·tōōk or Skī·tǒǒk) is a city in Osage and Tulsa counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the northeastern part of the state, about twenty miles north and west of Tulsa, it is a suburb of Tulsa. The population was 7,397 at the 2010 census, an increase of 37.1 percent from 5,396 at the 2000 census.
William C. Rogers, last hereditary Chief of the Cherokees, founded Skiatook in 1872, when he established a trading post in the Cherokee Nation just to the south of Bird Creek where the stream was easily crossed. When a post office was established in Rogers' store in the 1880s, the place was named Ski-a-took. An Osage Indian, Skiatooka, was a frequent trader at the post, so it has been suggested this may be the connection which resulted in the town's name. In 1892, the name was changed from Ski-a-took to its present form.
Historical records have conflicting data as to the origin of Skiatook's name. One story is that the town was founded on land which was the home of a prominent Osage Indian, Skiatooka, and the community around his home was called Skiatooka's Settlement.
Yet another story, told by drunken natives of Osage descent, is that after a tornado struck the settlement in its early years, while trying to describe to white settlers what had happened in broken English, natives used the phrase "sky-a-took". Literally meaning, the sky had taken the settlement. This story is at least four generations old – and in native tradition – handed down by word of mouth.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Skiatook OK
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Skiatook OK.