How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Windham Connecticut
Selecting the right welder school near Windham CT is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Windham CT.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop 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 finish 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Windham CT employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Windham CT area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many 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 must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Windham CT for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined 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 reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Windham CT welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Windham CT employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Windham CT welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Windham CT home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Windham CT, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Windham CT?
Perhaps you live in the Windham 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.
Windham County, Connecticut
Windham County is a county located in the northeastern corner of the U.S. state of Connecticut. As of the 2010 census, the population was 118,428, making it the least populous county in Connecticut. It forms the core of the region known as the Quiet Corner.
The area that is now Windham County became of interest to the English around 1635, but went unsettled for over fifty years due to its lack of access to the shore. John Winthrop took a strong interest to this land, purchased land from the Narragansetts, and was given permission by the court of Connecticut to settle in October 1671. In 1678, a tract of land, called Joshua’s Tract (Joshua was the son of Mohegan chief Uncas), was willed to Connecticut officials, and in February 1682, it was gifted to Samuel and Daniel Mason. In 1684, 1200 acres of land was sold to Jonathan Curtis, Thomas Dudley, and Samuel, among others, by the Nipmunks.
In May 1749, the town of Woodstock, formerly New Roxbury, Worcester County Massachusetts, was unilaterally annexed by Connecticut and assigned to Windham County. In 1785, the town of Union (incorporated in 1734) was transferred to the newly formed Tolland County. Over the next century, Windham County would lose several towns to Tolland and New London counties: Coventry to Tolland in 1786, Lebanon to New London in 1824, Columbia and Mansfield to Tolland in 1827, and Voluntown to New London in 1881. The final boundary adjustment occurred on April 7, 1885, when the boundary dispute between the towns of Windham and Mansfield was resolved.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Windham CT area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech Program Windham CT
Selecting the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Windham CT.
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