How to Pick the Right Welding Degree Program near Norwalk Connecticut
Locating the right welding trade school near Norwalk CT is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welder technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Norwalk CT area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach 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 finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Norwalk CT employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Norwalk CT area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many 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 must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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 specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Norwalk CT for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Norwalk CT welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Norwalk CT contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to 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 comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Norwalk CT welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Norwalk CT home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire 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 obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Norwalk CT, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Norwalk CT area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Welding Night Courses Norwalk CT
Selecting the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Night Courses and wanted more information on the topic Education Needed To Become A Welder. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Norwalk CT.
Other Connecticut Welder Locations
Norwalk is a U.S. city located in southwestern Connecticut, in southern Fairfield County, on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Norwalk lies within both the New York metropolitan area as well as the Bridgeport metropolitan area.
Norwalk was settled in 1649, and is the sixth most populous city in Connecticut. According to the 2010 United States Census it has had a population of 85,603; with an estimated population of 88,438 in 2016.
The Battle of Norwalk took place during the Revolutionary War, and lead to the burning of most of the town. In 1836, the borough of Norwalk was created, covering the central area of the town. In 1853, the first ever train disaster in the United States happened over the Norwalk River. During the 19th and early 20th century, Norwalk was a major railroad stop for the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. The city of South Norwalk and the remaining parts of the town of Norwalk were both combined in 1910 to form the current city.
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