How to Choose a Welding Certification Course near Warrington Pennsylvania
Choosing the right welding trade school near Warrington PA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options available to get 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 typical welding programs offered near Warrington PA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by Warrington PA area technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. 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 complete and are most often offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder in Warrington PA.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Warrington PA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent 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 certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Warrington PA employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis 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. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Warrington PA. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Warrington PA area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Warrington PA welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various Warrington PA metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Warrington PA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Warrington PA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Warrington PA home. If you do opt to enroll in 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 certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Warrington PA, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick 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 emergencies.
Being a Welder in Warrington PA
Warrington Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Warrington Township was founded in October 1734, and is named after the town of Warrington in Cheshire, England, England. The early township consisted of four villages: Warrington, Neshaminy, Tradesville, and Pleasantville. Warrington was located at the intersection of Bristol Road and the Doylestown-Willow Grove Turnpike, now known as Easton Road (PA Route 611).
Neshaminy, originally known as Warrington Square, was centered at Street Road and the Turnpike (611), but became known as Neshaminy because of its proximity to the Little Neshaminy Creek. The Village of Tradesville was near Lower State Road and was originally known as Stuckert's Corner because of a store operated by a man named Stuckert.
The Village of Pleasantville (or Eureka) was located near Lower State Road and County Line Road. It was the location of the first church in the township, The Reformed Church of Pleasantville, founded in 1840.
In 2010, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries proposed to build the largest warehouse facility in Pennsylvania near residential neighborhoods in Warrington, leading to vocal community opposition. Teva eventually chose a less controversial site in Northeast Philadelphia.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Warrington PA
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour 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 proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Warrington PA.
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