How to Choose the Best Welding Trade School near East Lyme Connecticut
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near East Lyme CT is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the East Lyme CT area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous East Lyme CT employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the East Lyme CT area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in East Lyme CT for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the East Lyme CT welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of East Lyme CT employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate 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 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 East Lyme CT welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your East Lyme CT home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Lyme CT, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater East Lyme CT area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Welding Course East Lyme CT
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Course and wanted more information on the topic Welding Fabrication Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some 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 right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in East Lyme CT.
Other Connecticut Welder Locations
East Lyme, Connecticut
East Lyme is located in southern New London County, west of Waterford and Montville, east of Lyme and Old Lyme, and south of Salem. Long Island Sound is to the south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.0 square miles (109 km2), of which 34.0 square miles (88 km2) is land and 7.9 square miles (20 km2), or 18.89%, is water.
The town consists primarily of two villages, Flanders and Niantic. It is common for the town of East Lyme to be erroneously called "Niantic", due to this side of town being the "beach" side which is popular with tourists and visitors in the summer months. Niantic's population doubles in the summer months for the beach season, and it has a much higher density than the more sparsely populated Flanders side of town, which is known for its apple orchards, the town's high school, and forest.
The village of Niantic gets its name from the Niantic or Nehantic people, whose ranging grounds once extended from Wecapaug Brook, in what is now Rhode Island, to the Connecticut River. Shortly before the first settlers arrived, the Pequots had invaded Nehantic territory and annexed about half of the land claimed by the tribe. According to local historian Olive Tubbs Chendali:
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