How to Select a Welder School near Southaven Mississippi
Finding the ideal welding school near Southaven MS is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Southaven MS area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the Southaven MS welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Southaven MS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the Southaven MS welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced Southaven MS welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welding Tech School near Southaven MS
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Southaven MS area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Southaven MS welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 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 instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered 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 must have partnerships with local unions and various Southaven MS metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Southaven MS employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 Southaven MS welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Southaven MS home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been in Mississippi and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Southaven MS, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Looking at Welding Schools in Southaven MS?
Southaven is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. It is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, and a principal city in the Memphis metropolitan area. The 2010 census reported a population of 48,982, making Southaven the third-largest city in Mississippi and the second most populous suburb of Memphis. Southaven is traversed from north to south by the I-55/I-69 freeway. The city's name derives from the fact that Southaven is located south of Whitehaven, a neighborhood in Memphis.
Southaven began as a village when Memphis homebuilder Kemmons Wilson (founder of Holiday Inn) wished to develop a few residential subdivisions featuring small starter homes just across the Mississippi border from Whitehaven, Tennessee, an unincorporated suburb of Memphis. Whitehaven was eventually annexed by Memphis. Officially incorporated in 1980, Southaven is one of the fastest-growing cities in the southeastern United States. In just 20 years, Southaven doubled its land area, while its population tripled.
The construction of Interstate 55 through Southaven in the 1970s helped to promote growth and make for easier access to the city from Memphis, Jackson, St. Louis, and Chicago. Interstate 69, which will eventually run from Canada to Mexico, was cosigned with I-55 in Southaven in 2007.
In 1988, Baptist Hospital-DeSoto opened in Southaven as a two-story hospital. In 2001, Baptist DeSoto started an expansion project, nearly doubling the size of the hospital. In 2002, Baptist Hospital-DeSoto added an Outpatient Diagnostic Center and a Women's Center. In November 2006, Baptist DeSoto opened an eleven-story hospital tower that added 140 beds to the facility, allowing it to offer all private rooms. In addition, the new hospital tower added a new and expanded Emergency Department, more operating suites and space for future additions. It is the first high-rise building constructed in DeSoto County.
Select the Best Welding Trade School near Southaven MS
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options 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 certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Southaven MS.
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