How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Woodbury Connecticut
Locating the right welding school near Woodbury CT is an essential first step to launching 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available near Woodbury CT.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Woodbury CT area technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 usually offered by Connecticut community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Woodbury CT.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Woodbury CT employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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 various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Woodbury CT employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Woodbury CT. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Woodbury CT area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Woodbury CT welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered 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 Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Woodbury CT metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 field, but additionally that it has the network of Woodbury CT contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Woodbury CT welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Woodbury CT home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Woodbury CT, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Woodbury CT
Woodbury is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 9,975 at the 2010 census. The town center is also designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). Woodbury was founded in 1673.
The center of Woodbury is distinctive because, unlike many New England towns, it is not nucleated. In Woodbury, the older buildings are arrayed in linear fashion along both sides of a road that stretches for over a mile. The public buildings in the National Register Historic District include the First Congregational Church (1818), the Old Town Hall (1846), the United Methodist Church, the St. Paul's Episcopal Church (1785), and the North Congregational Church (1816).
The most notable of the public buildings is the Masonic Temple (1839). It is a modest, clapboard, Greek Revival temple, notable less for its architecture than for its dramatic location, situated atop a high cliff accessed by a long flight of steps (there is a modern road at the rear). It is visible from a distance and is especially dramatic at night, when it is illuminated by spotlights. The Woodbury Temple echoes the many temples of the Greek world that were perched at the edge of high places from which they could be seen from miles around and from far out at sea.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.7 square miles (95 km2), of which 36.5 square miles (95 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) of (0.74%) is water. The CDP has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land.
Find the Best Welding Technical Program Woodbury CT
Picking the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Woodbury CT.