How to Pick a Welding Training Program near Windsor Locks Connecticut
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Windsor Locks CT is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available near Windsor Locks CT.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Windsor Locks CT area trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by Connecticut community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Windsor Locks CT.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Windsor Locks CT employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Windsor Locks CT employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Windsor Locks CT. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Windsor Locks CT area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important 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 should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Windsor Locks CT welding technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various Windsor Locks CT metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Windsor Locks CT employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm 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 using on the job. 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 Windsor Locks CT welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Windsor Locks CT home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on 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 evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Windsor Locks CT, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Windsor Locks CT
Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Windsor Locks is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 12,498. It is the site of Bradley International Airport, which serves the Greater Hartford-Springfield region and occupies approximately 1/3 of the town. Windsor Locks is also the site of the New England Air Museum.
Located beside the Connecticut River and equidistant from the densely populated cities of Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, Windsor Locks is named for a set of canal locks that opened in 1829. Windsor Locks is situated just south of the first large falls in the Connecticut River, the Enfield Falls, which is the northernmost point that seagoing vessels can reach on the Connecticut River before transferring to smaller ships. The Enfield Falls Canal circumvents the Enfield Falls and its nearby shallows.
Originally part of Windsor, Windsor Locks broke off into its own settlement in 1854 after the thriving Enfield Locks going around Enfield Falls which opened in 1829. The Bradley International Airport opened as a military base in 1940, and opened to civilian use in 1947. In 1967 the town boundary was somewhat altered due to the opening of the Bradley Connector. The town boundary between Windsor Locks and Windsor changed several times and was altered with Windsor Locks being on the westbound side and the Windsor side on the eastbound side with the border on the median.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which 9.0 square miles (23.4 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 3.65%, is water.
Find the Ideal Welding Technical Program Windsor Locks CT
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Windsor Locks CT.