How to Enroll In a Welding Certificate Program near Smyrna Delaware
Locating the right welding technical school near Smyrna DE is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out 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 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 accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Smyrna DE.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Smyrna DE employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills 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 kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate 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 trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Technical School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Smyrna DE area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider 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 program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Smyrna DE for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Smyrna DE welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Smyrna DE employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Smyrna DE welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Smyrna DE home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Smyrna DE, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Smyrna DE?
Perhaps you live in the Smyrna Delaware 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.
Smyrna is a town in Kent and New Castle counties in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is part of the Dover, Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the Census Bureau, as of 2010, the population of the town is 10,023.
Smyrna was originally called Duck Creek Cross Roads and received its current name in 1806 after the Ancient Greek seaport of Smyrna in present-day Turkey. The town was located along the north-south King's Highway. Smyrna was originally a shipping center along the Duck Creek and was the most important port between Wilmington and Lewes, shipping grain, lumber, tanbark, and produce to points north. After the shipping industry collapsed in the 1850s, the town would continue to be an agricultural center.
The Bannister Hall and Baynard House, Belmont Hall, David J. Cummins House, Timothy Cummins House, Duck Creek Village, George Farmhouse, Ivy Dale Farm, Mount Pleasant, Moore House, Peterson and Mustard's Hermitage Farm, Savin-Wilson House, Short's Landing Hotel Complex, Smyrna Historic District, John M. Voshell House, and Woodlawn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Smyrna DE area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Smyrna DE
Selecting the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on 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 right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Smyrna DE.