How to Pick the Right Welding Training Class near Stratford Connecticut
Choosing the right welder vocational school near Stratford CT is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Stratford CT area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Stratford CT employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Stratford CT area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Stratford CT for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Stratford 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 essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Stratford CT employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. Otherwise, ask a local Stratford CT welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Stratford CT home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present 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 at night or on weekends near Stratford CT, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Stratford CT area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pipe Welding Courses Stratford CT
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Pipe Welding Courses and wanted more information on the topic Welding Colleges Near Me. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. 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 dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Stratford CT.
Other Connecticut Welder Locations
Stratford is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is situated on Long Island Sound along Connecticut's "Gold Coast" at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Stratford is in the Bridgeport–Stamford–Norwalk Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was founded by Puritans in 1639.
The population was 51,384 as of the 2010 census. It is bordered on the west by Bridgeport, to the north by Trumbull and Shelton, and on the east by Milford (across the Housatonic River). Stratford has a historical legacy in aviation, the military, and theater.
Stratford was founded in 1639 by Puritan leader Reverend Adam Blakeman, William Beardsley, and either 16 families (according to legend) or approximately 35 families (suggested by later research) who had recently arrived in Connecticut from England seeking religious freedom. In 1639 the General Court in Hartford made reference to the town as the "new plantation at Pequannock". In 1640 the community was known as Cupheag, a Native American Paugussett word meaning "at the enclosed place" or "place of shelter". By April 13, 1643, the growing town was known as Stratford, changed to honor William Shakespeare's birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
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