How to Choose the Right Welding Degree Program near Oakdale Connecticut
Finding the right welding trade school near Oakdale CT is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. 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 concerns when reviewing welder vocational 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Oakdale CT area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
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Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Oakdale CT employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Oakdale CT area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of 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 must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Oakdale CT for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Oakdale CT welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Oakdale CT contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Oakdale CT welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Oakdale CT home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oakdale CT, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Oakdale CT area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Weekend Welding Courses Oakdale CT
Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Weekend Welding Courses and wanted more information on the topic Training To Become A Welder. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Oakdale CT.
Other Connecticut Welder Locations
The villages of Chesterfield, Mohegan, Oakdale, and Uncasville are located within the town; the latter two have their own ZIP Codes. Town residents often identify with these villages more than the Town of Montville as a whole, and the Mohegan Sun casino resort is nearby.
In the 17th century, when English settlers arrived, southeastern Connecticut was the scene of rivalry between the Pequot people, the dominant Native American group in the New London area, and the newly independent Mohegan. The latter became friendly to the English. For defense against the Pequot, the Mohegan sachem Uncas had established a fortified village on a promontory above the Thames River within what is now the town of Montville. The Mohegan village, now known as Fort Shantok, was protected on the inland side by palisades first built in about 1636 at the time of the Pequot War, rebuilt during wars with the Narragansett people circa 1653–1657, and rebuilt again at the time of King Philip's War (1675–1676).
When the boundaries of New London (then called "Pequot") were first defined in 1646, the Oxoboxo River formed the northern boundary. Parts of the modern town of Montville lying south of the river were included in New London, while the area north of the river was treated as Mohegan land. Over time the settlers assumed control of Mohegan lands. In 1703 the area between the Oxoboxo River and Norwich (now part of the town of Montville) was annexed by New London.
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