How to Pick the Best Welding Degree Program near Naalehu Hawaii
Choosing the right welding technical school near Naalehu HI is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Naalehu HI area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop 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 community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies 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. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Naalehu HI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Naalehu HI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many 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 should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Naalehu HI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established 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 associations within the Naalehu HI 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 important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Naalehu HI contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down 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 taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Naalehu HI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Naalehu HI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Naalehu HI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Naalehu HI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant 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 have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Best Colleges For Welding Naalehu HI
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Colleges For Welding and wanted more information on the topic Short Course Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Naalehu HI.
Find More Welding Locations in Hawaii
Naalehu is a community in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States. Naʻālehu means "the volcanic ashes" in Hawaiian. It is the southernmost community with a post office in the 50 states of the United States. (See List of extreme points of the United States.) For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Naalehu as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name. The population was 866 at the 2010 census, down from 919 at the 2000 census.
Naalehu is located near the southern tip of the island of Hawaii at 19°3′57″N 155°35′15″W / 19.06583°N 155.58750°W / 19.06583; -155.58750 (19.065925, -155.587528) in the Kaʻū District. It is bordered to the west by Waiohinu, and Discovery Harbour is to the southwest. (The two communities are census-designated places but do not have post offices.)
As of the census of 2000, there were 919 people, 290 households, and 209 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 426.1 people per square mile (164.3/km²). There were 332 housing units at an average density of 153.9 per square mile (59.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 8.38% White, 0.33% African American, 0.11% Native American, 45.59% Asian, 13.82% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 31.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.44% of the population.