How to Pick a Welding Trade School near Woodbridge Connecticut
Locating the right welding technical school near Woodbridge CT is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Woodbridge CT.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Woodbridge CT employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Vocational School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Woodbridge CT area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Woodbridge CT for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Woodbridge CT welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Woodbridge CT employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Woodbridge CT welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Woodbridge CT home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodbridge CT, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Woodbridge CT?
Perhaps you live in the Woodbridge 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.
Woodbridge is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,990 at the 2010 census. It is one of the wealthiest towns in Connecticut, ranking 8th in the state per the 2010 US Census in terms of per-capita income, and is home to many of the faculty of Yale University. The town center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Woodbridge Green Historic District.
Woodbridge was originally called "Amity", having been carved out of land originally belonging to New Haven and Milford as an independent parish in 1739. In 1742, the Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge was ordained in Amity, and it is after him that the modern town was named. Woodbridge was incorporated in 1784.
In 1661, the town was the location of one of the hideouts of the "Regicides" — three of the judges who signed the death warrant for King Charles I of England. The ruins of their hideout can be found on the nearby West Rock ridge, which runs along the town's eastern border.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Woodbridge CT area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need 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 knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational Program Woodbridge CT
Picking the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Woodbridge CT.
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