How to Choose the Best Welding Technical School near Somers Connecticut
Enrolling in the right welder school near Somers CT is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Somers CT area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach 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 complete 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Somers CT employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Somers CT area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Somers 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.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction 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 looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Somers CT welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Somers CT contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Somers CT welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Somers CT home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out 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 observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Somers CT, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Somers CT area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
MIG Welding Training Somers CT
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly 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 MIG Welding Training and wanted more information on the topic Training For Underwater Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are assessing 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 provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Somers CT.
Other Connecticut Welder Locations
Somers /ˈsʌmərz/ is a town in Tolland County, Connecticut. The population was 11,444 at the 2010 census. The town center is listed by the U.S. Census Bureau as a census-designated place (CDP). In 2007, Money Magazine named Somers, Connecticut 53rd on its list of 100 Best Places to Live, based on "economic opportunity, good schools, safe streets, things to do and a real sense of community."
Bordering Massachusetts, Somers is considered part of the City of Springfield, Massachusetts NECTA. Somers is only 9 miles from the City of Springfield, Massachusetts, and considered more oriented toward it than the City of Hartford, Connecticut, which lies 16 miles to the south.
Somers was originally part of the Agawam Plantation in the 17th century. Agawam Plantation became Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1641 and in 1682, the Enfield Parish broke off from the Springfield settlement. In 1689, the first settler, Benjamin Jones, came to Somers in what was then East Enfield about a half mile from the current town center, as it was only a summer house and in the winter, he and his family returned to Enfield for several years though out of fear of the Native Americans. In 1711, several more families settled the Somers area to help start a village. The families of Kibbe, Pease, Root, and Megregory were the first to settle the area. The Village was given the name Wallop but was changed to East Enfield shortly after. In the year 1734, East Enfield became a town and was renamed Somers, after John Somers, 1st Baron Somers. In the year 1749, Somers joined the Connecticut Colony. The Four Town Fair which is usually held after the third weekend in September is one of the oldest fairs in the Country.
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