How to Choose a Welding Training Program near Wilton Connecticut
Enrolling in the right welder vocational school near Wilton CT is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Wilton CT.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually 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 provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wilton CT employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Trade Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Wilton CT area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide 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 selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Wilton CT for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Wilton CT welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Wilton CT contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Wilton CT welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Wilton CT home. If you do opt 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 diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat 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. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wilton CT, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wilton CT?
Perhaps you live in the Wilton Connecticut area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Officially recognized as a parish in 1726, Wilton is today, like many other Fairfield County towns, an expensive residential community with open lands (a testament to its colonial farming roots), historic architecture and extensive town services. Residents commonly commute to New York City, Stamford, and Norwalk, although there are a number of office buildings in town.
Wilton is home to many successful start-up companies, national strategy and professional services and consulting firms, and global corporations such as ASML, Deloitte & Touche, Sun Products, Breitling USA, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation, Melissa & Doug, Clear Conscience Pet and the Blue Buffalo Company. Many Fortune 1000 companies are headquartered within a 30-minute train or car commute. AIG Financial Products was headquartered in the town. Its trading in credit derivatives essentially bankrupted its parent company, AIG, and helped create the global financial crisis of 2008–2009.
The original 40 families of the parish began their own Congregational church and were allowed by Norwalk to hire a minister (Robert Sturgeon, who also became the town's first schoolmaster), open schools and build roads. During the Revolutionary War in 1777, the British used Wilton as an escape route after their successful raid on Danbury. Several homes were burned, but the town remained intact. In 1802, Wilton was granted a Town Charter by the Connecticut General Assembly and became a political entity independent from Norwalk.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wilton CT area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Tech School Wilton CT
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Wilton CT.
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