How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin
Selecting the right welder trade school near Sturgeon Bay WI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welding trade 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 establish 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered near Sturgeon Bay WI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Sturgeon Bay WI area technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by Wisconsin community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder in Sturgeon Bay WI.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Sturgeon Bay WI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Sturgeon Bay WI employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Sturgeon Bay WI. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Sturgeon Bay WI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Sturgeon Bay WI welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other Sturgeon Bay WI metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 develop associations within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Sturgeon Bay WI employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Sturgeon Bay WI welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Sturgeon Bay WI home. If you do choose 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 especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sturgeon Bay WI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in Sturgeon Bay WI
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Sturgeon Bay is a city in and the county seat of Door County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 9,144 at the 2010 census. It is located at the natural end of Sturgeon Bay, although the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal was built across the remainder of the Door Peninsula.
Sturgeon Bay is located at 44°49′56″N 87°22′19″W / 44.83222°N 87.37194°W / 44.83222; -87.37194 (44.813376, -87.372076). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.66 square miles (30.20 km2), of which, 9.82 square miles (25.43 km2) is land and 1.84 square miles (4.77 km2) is water.
Sturgeon Bay has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb). The city experiences warm summers and cold snowy winters, with an average temperature ranging from 68.7 °F (20.4 °C) in the summer down to 18.0 °F (−7.8 °C) in the winter.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,144 people, 4,288 households and 2,385 families. The population density was 931.2 inhabitants per square mile (359.5/km2). There were 4,903 housing units at an average density of 499.3 per square mile (192.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.1% White, 1.0% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
Pick the Best Welding Technical School Sturgeon Bay WI
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 many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Sturgeon Bay WI.