How to Choose a Welder Training Program near West Dennis Massachusetts
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near West Dennis MA is an important first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered near West Dennis MA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by West Dennis MA area trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by Massachusetts community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in West Dennis MA.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous West Dennis MA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to West Dennis MA employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near West Dennis MA. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn 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 Decide on a Welding Vocational Program
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the West Dennis MA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the West Dennis MA welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various West Dennis MA 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 assist students in finding 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 start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of West Dennis MA employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 West Dennis MA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your West Dennis MA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Dennis MA, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in West Dennis MA
The town encompasses five distinct villages, each of which has its own post office. These constituent villages are Dennis (including North Dennis), Dennis Port, East Dennis, South Dennis, and West Dennis.
Dennis was first settled in 1639, by John Crowe (later Crowell), Antony Thacher and Thomas Howes, as part of the town of Yarmouth. It was known then as the East Precinct. The original inhabitants who preceded English settlers called the northern sections of town Nobscuesset, Sesuit, and Quivet.
The town officially separated and incorporated in 1793. It was named after resident minister, Rev. Josiah Dennis. There was not enough land for farming, so seafaring became the town's major industry in its early history, centered around the Shiverick Shipyard.
Currently, Dennis is a popular seaside resort town, notable for its stately colonial mansions along the northern Cape Cod Bay coastline, and its picturesque, warm-water beaches along the southern Nantucket Sound.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School West Dennis MA
Selecting the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in West Dennis MA.