How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Felton Delaware
Choosing the right welder trade school near Felton DE is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Programs
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered near Felton DE.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Felton DE area technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed 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 complete and are usually offered by Delaware community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder in Felton DE.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Felton DE employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Felton DE employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Felton DE. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Felton DE area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Felton DE welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 an individual program the school has, for example 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 recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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 welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other Felton DE metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 field, but also that it has the network of Felton DE contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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. If not, ask a local Felton DE welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Felton DE home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Felton DE, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. 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 if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in Felton DE
As of the census of 2000, there were 784 people, 297 households, and 217 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,268.1 people per square mile (488.2/km²). There were 312 housing units at an average density of 504.6 per square mile (194.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.53% White, 11.61% African American, 1.02% Native American, 1.28% Asian, 0.89% from other races, and 2.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.17% of the population.
There were 297 households out of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.9% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the town, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $42,589, and the median income for a family was $44,875. Males had a median income of $32,857 versus $24,375 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,854. About 9.5% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.2% of those under age 18 and 13.8% of those age 65 or over.
Select the Right Welding Technical School Felton DE
Selecting the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Felton DE.