How to Enroll In the Best Welding Certification Course near Stratton Maine
Enrolling in the right welding technical school near Stratton ME is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Stratton ME area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Stratton ME employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Stratton ME area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose 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). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Stratton ME for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Stratton ME welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may 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 an indication 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 Stratton ME contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Stratton ME welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Stratton ME home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak 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. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Stratton ME, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Stratton ME area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Top Part Time Welding Programs Stratton ME
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Part Time Welding Programs and wanted more information on the topic Best Accelerated Welding Programs. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Stratton ME.
Other Maine Welder Locations
General Tom Thumb
Charles Sherwood Stratton (January 4, 1838 – July 15, 1883), better known by his stage name "General Tom Thumb", was a dwarf who achieved great fame as a performer under circus pioneer P. T. Barnum.
Stratton was the son of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, carpenter named Sherwood Edward Stratton, son of Seth Sherwood Stratton and Amy Sharpe. Sherwood married his first cousin Cynthia Thompson, daughter of Joseph Thompson and Mary Ann Sharpe. Charles Stratton's maternal and paternal grandmothers, Amy and Mary Ann Sharpe, were stated to be small twin girls born on July 11, 1781/83 in Oxford, New Haven, Connecticut.
Born in Bridgeport to parents who were of medium height, Charles was a relatively large baby, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces (4.3 kg) at birth. He developed and grew normally for the first six months of his life, at which point he was 25 inches (64 cm) tall and weighed 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Then he suddenly stopped growing. His parents became concerned when, after his first birthday, they noticed he had not grown at all in the previous six months. They showed him to their doctor, who said there was little chance Charles would ever reach normal height.