Welders are skilled professionals who use high-power tools to join materials such as metals, alloys, and composite, for various manufacturing and structural companies. The more advanced your welding skills, the more job opportunities you will have, and the higher salary you can earn. If you want to become an advanced welder, you should consider obtaining a welding degree. Not all welding degrees provide equal education. Find out how to choose the best welding degree program.
Research the Instructors and Alumni
Welding is a skills-based field, which means that any welding degree program is only as good as the instructors who are teaching the skills to students. If you’re serious about getting a good welding degree, do a little digging to find out about the background of the instructors. You can also contact alumni information to get a good perspective on how the degree translated into a job after graduation. Alumni can also give you the inside details on what it’s like to work with the instructors at the school.
Minimal Requirements vs. High Expectations for Skill Building
If a welding program is accredited by the American Welding Society (AWS), then they have to meet specific requirements outlined by the AWS. This ensures you get the basic required education and the skills you’ll need for the workforce. However, if the degree program only focuses on the requirements, this is a warning sign that it’s not the best possible program. Try searching for degree programs that offers advanced skills classes, like under-water welding, to ensure that it’s great program.
Accredited and Endorsed
Always check to make sure the degree program you’re looking into is accredited and endorsed by the AWS. If it isn’t, it means that no other school or professional network ensures the success of the program. This isn’t a good sign. Not having an accredited education can prevent you from getting jobs.
Making an Investment – Cheaper Isn’t Better
Here’s a cardinal rule for choosing an education option: cheaper is not better. That doesn’t mean you have to choose the most expensive option, either. If you choose to go the cheapest route, it won’t give you a higher payout in the end. Think of your education as an investment for the future. Higher-cost schools will typically mean better facilities, better instructors, and better classes. This all will culminate toward a better job when you graduate.
Hands-On Experience in Curriculum
While you’re researching the instructors for the program, make sure to check out what the curriculum entails. As a skills-based profession, you want to make sure you’re getting as much hands-on experience as you can. If the curriculum is all based on videos, it’s not worth your time.
Make sure to also look at the facilities of the program. If all the equipment at the school is old and rundown, it probably means you won’t get great experience using the latest tools and technology. Look for a school that can keep up with the technology you’ll be using in the field.