How to Choose a Welding Certificate Program near North Stratford New Hampshire
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near North Stratford NH is an important 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations 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 beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available near North Stratford NH.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by North Stratford NH area technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by New Hampshire community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder in North Stratford NH.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous North Stratford NH employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills 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
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to North Stratford NH employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near North Stratford NH. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the North Stratford NH area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should 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 following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the North Stratford NH welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place 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 assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various North Stratford NH 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of North Stratford NH employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local North Stratford NH welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your North Stratford NH home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current 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 North Stratford NH, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in North Stratford NH
Stratford, New Hampshire
Stratford is a town located on the Connecticut River in Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 746 at the 2010 census. Within the town are the villages of North Stratford, Stratford Hollow, and Beatties. U.S. Highway 3 passes through the center of town, as did a branch of the Grand Trunk Railway of yore.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 80.0 square miles (207 km2), of which 79.5 square miles (206 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) is water, comprising 0.65% of the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 942 people, 397 households, and 235 families residing in the town. The population density was 11.8 people per square mile (4.6/km²). There were 540 housing units at an average density of 6.8 per square mile (2.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.75% White, 1.27% Native American, 0.11% from other races, and 2.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.
There were 397 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.03.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program North Stratford NH
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in North Stratford NH.