Did you know that over 50% of all human-made items involve some form of welding?
Welding is a fast-growing field with a lot of entry-level opportunities for new workers entering the field fresh from welding school.
Various welding programs offer you the support and guidance to become a certified welder in less than a year. These diploma programs teach you welding fundamentals, safety protocols, and best practices to help you succeed as a welder. These programs will also prepare you to pass the SMAW and FCAW certifications, skills that top welding employers will likely seek out in prospective employees.
So, what are you waiting for? Why not look into welding as a career choice?
If you are looking into welding schools, but you do not know if welding a good fit for you or need tips on enrolling, then keep reading.
Here are nine tips for enrolling and attending the best welding schools:
1. Test the Waters
This seems obvious. But before you dive in, make sure that welding is right for you. Read up on your program, the school, and the welding field. Watching welding videos on YouTube and read about the profession in articles on our website and the internet. Program pages offer FAQs and a lot of helpful information for you to consider.
Often schools have virtual tours and program overviews to help make your decision an easy one. Ask yourself: does the school have a good feel?
Take a free mini-course on welding online or speak with a certified welder to help you decide.
2. Check for the Right Classes
Does the course offer the right classes and programs? Make sure the school provides training in various types of welding.
Do your research. Ensure courses include instruction on oxy-fuel welding, flux-cored arc welding, gas metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and shielded metal arc welding. These are all the major welding processes you will likely need to use on the job.
Make sure the courses will teach you to pipe weld as well as plate weld. Different welding positions are important on-the-job skills you will need.
Do the courses include professional development programs? Professional development courses help you prepare for your job search and nail your interviews. A great professional development class is essential for your job placement!
3. Find the Right Length Program
Program length is an important factor in determining which school is right for you. How long will it take you to complete the program?
Most welding training programs will take the average student about a year to complete part-time, like the one at IMBC.
Make a point to remember class rules and information about sick days, COVID-compliance, tardiness, and more. You want to earn a good grade to demonstrate you are a serious employee candidate.
4. Tour the Campus
Do not commit to a school before you visit a campus. Can you see yourself going to school there? If there are not open touring days, check to see if the school has a virtual tour on the website.
Tour the school to get a better feel for the environment. Many schools host campus visit days and tours that enable you to meet staff and check out the labs.
Be sure to ask many questions, check the facilities, and speak with a graduate or student in the program. Do not forget to look at the professional development assistance offered and ask about job placement!
5. Check the Number of Booths
Does the school have enough equipment to suit the needs of all students?
Smaller programs and great for focused instruction, but sharing a booth with more than one other student will be a big headache. Speak to a program representative or ask during your school tour.
Practice makes perfect, so it’s best to have a personal booth to learn. The ratio should be ideally one-to-one, so you will have a dedicated area to learn, practice, and succeed.
6. Check where Companies Hire From
Speak to the career placement director to learn about who is hiring the school’s graduates and what the jobs are like. Where are the students finding employment after taking the program?
Often companies like to recruit through school campuses. Does the school have a connection with local employers?
Check the number of students who have job placement after completing the program. The job placement percentage is an easy way to see how successful post-graduation students are and if they are finding jobs. This info is typically on the school’s website.
Ensure your program and school will give you the best opportunities to succeed. Do they offer interview prep, resume writing assistance, and certification preparation?
7. Work Smarter
Do you know the saying, “work smarter, not harder?” Apply that to your welding studies.
Skilled labor, like welding, requires intelligence, strength, understanding, and constant practice. Do not be afraid to step back and take time to think things over.
Continue to practice until the best practices become a habit. Work towards completing a job intelligently, not quickly.
8. Be On-Time
Always be on time! To class, to interviews, to work – being on time is professional.
Show up to class on time and ready to learn. This way you’ll never miss valuable information – it’ll leave a good impression with your instructors too.
Be on time for job interviews – you only have one chance to make a good first impression!
Finally, always be on time to work. Work smart, work hard, and be the first to be considered for a promotion, new project, or a raise.
9. Be Prepared
Always be prepared! Ensure you have the correct class materials.
For welding school, you will need various items, including safety equipment! Ensure you have a helmet, steel-toed shoes, glasses, jacket, and gloves. Your school will likely provide most of what you need, but be sure you do not lose these items.
Make sure you also have a wire cutter, a grinder, grinder discs, combination wrenches, wire brushes, and a chipping hammer. These will be great for school and on the job.
A backpack would be useful to carry all your equipment. Stay safe, clean, and attentive!
Now You Know Our Tips for the Best Welding Schools
Now that you have read all of our best welding school advice, get searching for the best welding schools for you. Remember our tips and keep them in mind when you are looking through different program offerings.
For more tips about welding or landing your first job, visit the IMBC Blog.