How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Whately Massachusetts
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Whately MA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Whately MA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Whately MA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Whately MA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Whately MA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Whately MA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Whately MA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Whately MA welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Whately MA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whately MA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Whately MA?
Perhaps you live in the Whately Massachusetts 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.
Whately (/ˈhweɪtli/; WHAYT-lee) is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,496 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Whately was first settled in 1672 as a northern section of Hatfield. The town peaceably petitioned for separation from the town because of its relatively long distance from the rest of Hatfield, and was officially incorporated in 1771, named by Governor Thomas Hutchinson for Thomas Whately, a Member of Parliament whose letter to Hutchinson would later be involved in the controversy which brought on Hutchinson's dismissal. Julian Whately, a descendant of Thomas, visited the town during the Bicentennial celebration in 1971. Whately was the site of the state's first gin distillery, as well as other small mills, including wool and furniture mills. The town also used the water in town for agricultural pursuits, including dairying and one of the few Sumatran tobacco fields outside of Indonesia.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.7 square miles (54 km2), of which 20.2 square miles (52 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), or 2.32%, is water. Whately lies along the southern border of the county, north of Hampshire County, and is bordered by Conway to the northwest, Deerfield to the northeast, Sunderland to the east, Hatfield to the south, and Williamsburg to the west. Whately is located 11 miles (18 km) south of Greenfield, 26 miles (42 km) north of Springfield, and 95 miles (153 km) west of Boston.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Whately MA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, 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 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Whately MA
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should 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 in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Whately MA.