How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Surry Maine
Enrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Surry ME is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welding vocational 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered near Surry ME.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Surry ME area technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by Maine community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder in Surry ME.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Surry ME employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Surry ME employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools 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 give a novice 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 until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Surry ME. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welder Trade Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Surry ME area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider 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 considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the Surry ME welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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 verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Surry ME metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 establish associations within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Surry ME employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect 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 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 Surry ME welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Surry ME home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Surry ME, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Surry ME
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.13 square miles (132.43 km2), of which 36.97 square miles (95.75 km2) is land and 14.16 square miles (36.67 km2) is water.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Surry has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,466 people, 673 households, and 429 families residing in the town. The population density was 39.7 inhabitants per square mile (15.3/km2). There were 1,119 housing units at an average density of 30.3 per square mile (11.7/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.3% White, 0.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.7% of the population.
There were 673 households of which 23.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.3% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.64.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational School Surry ME
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Surry ME.