How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Program near Westport New York
Choosing the right welding school near Westport NY is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available near Westport NY.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by Westport NY area technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by New York community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Westport NY.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Westport NY employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Westport NY employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis 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 unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Westport NY. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welder Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Westport NY area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Westport NY welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic 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 make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various Westport NY metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high 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 Westport NY contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Westport NY welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Westport NY home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westport NY, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Being a Welder in Westport NY
Westport, New York
The town was founded by William Gilliland in 1764 who surveyed an area in the southern part of the town and was granted 2,300 acres (9.3 km2); he also established the neighboring towns of Elizabethtown, named for his wife, and Willsboro. Gilliland originally called his patent "Bessboro" after his little daughter. The original settlement, which may have supplied wood to Benedict Arnold's troops, was completely destroyed during the American Revolutionary War in connection with British General John Burgoyne's march from Canada to Saratoga. The first permanent settlement was in 1785.
The town of Westport was established in 1815 from part of the town of Elizabethtown. The community of Westport in the center of town incorporated as a village in 1907. The community abandoned its status as an incorporated village on December 31, 1992.
By the mid-nineteenth century, Westport was a fashionable resort town. Its social scene was regularly reported on in The New York Times and by the Boston press. Like many other East Coast resorts, its popularity gradually declined, starting in the 1930s, as first automobiles and then airplanes made possible a wider selection of vacation sites. Since the 1950s, however, Westport's lakeshore property has steadily increased in value. Although once most of the "summer people" stayed for weeks, now distinctions are not as clear: there are "year-round summer people" whose livelihood stems from outside Westport, weekenders whose principal residence is fairly close by (for example, Albany, which is two hours distant by car), and commuters to workplaces as distant as Plattsburgh, New York, or Middlebury, Vermont.
Westport is home to Camp Dudley, YMCA, the oldest summer camp in continuous operation in the United States, founded in 1885 by Sumner F. Dudley, who moved to Westport in 1891. Meadowmount, the summer school for string players founded by Ivan Galamian, is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of the center of town, in the town of Lewis. Westport is known as the ice fishing capital of Essex County.
Find the Best Welding Vocational Program Westport NY
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Westport NY.