How to Find the Best Welder Trade School near Orono Maine
Selecting the right welding trade school near Orono ME is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students 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 least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Orono ME area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Orono ME employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also 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 similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Orono ME area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Orono ME for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Orono ME welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Orono ME employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm 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 using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Orono ME welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Orono ME home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Orono ME, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Orono ME area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting 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 extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Top Accelerated Trade Schools for Welders Orono ME
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly 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 Top Accelerated Trade Schools for Welders and wanted more information on the topic Best Local Trade Schools for Welders. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Orono ME.
Other Maine Welder Locations
Orono (/ˈɒrənoʊ/) is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. Located on the Penobscot and Stillwater rivers, it was first settled by British-American colonists in 1774. They named it in honor of Chief Joseph Orono, a sachem of the indigenous Penobscot nation who long occupied this territory.
In the nineteenth century, the town became a center of the lumber industry. Sawmills on the rivers were powered by the water, and logs were floated downriver on the Penobscot for shipping and export from coastal ports.
Since 1865 it has been the location of the University of Maine, established as a land-grant institution and the state's flagship educational institution. In the fall of 2018, the university enrolled 11,404 students at Orono. Including university residents, the town's population was 10,362 at the 2010 census.
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