How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Salem New Mexico
Enrolling in the right welder school near Salem NM is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues 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 starting your search for a school to become a welder, it’s wise 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 Courses
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Salem NM area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. 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 additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the Salem NM welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Salem NM employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the Salem NM welding trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools that may count 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 basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for experienced Salem NM welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welder Tech School near Salem NM
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Salem NM area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Salem NM welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding certificate 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. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Salem NM metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Salem NM employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment 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. Otherwise, ask a local Salem NM welding contractor 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 need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Salem NM home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been in New Mexico and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure 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 Salem NM, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Looking at Welding Schools in Salem NM?
Salem, New Mexico
As of the census of 2000, there were 795 people, 178 households, and 160 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 615.1 people per square mile (237.9/km²). There were 199 housing units at an average density of 154.0 per square mile (59.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 29.43% White, 0.50% African American, 1.38% Native American, 0.25% Asian, 64.53% from other races, and 3.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 94.09% of the population.
There were 178 households out of which 67.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.8% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.1% were non-families. 7.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.47 and the average family size was 4.74.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 46.9% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 13.2% from 45 to 64, and 5.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 19 years. For every 100 females there were 116.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $14,934, and the median income for a family was $16,591. Males had a median income of $21,705 versus $12,292 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $7,405. About 49.3% of families and 53.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 57.9% of those under age 18 and 70.9% of those age 65 or over.
Choose the Best Welding Technical School near Salem NM
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on 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 commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Salem NM.
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