How to Enroll In the Right Welder Training Program near Thomaston Maine
Finding the right welding school near Thomaston ME is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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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Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Thomaston ME area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Thomaston ME employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Thomaston ME area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Thomaston ME for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Thomaston ME welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Thomaston ME employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Thomaston ME welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Thomaston ME home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Thomaston ME, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Thomaston ME area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Best Local Welding Schools Thomaston ME
Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Local Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Best Night Welding Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Thomaston ME.
Other Maine Welder Locations
Thomaston (formerly known as Fort St. Georges, Fort Wharf, Lincoln) is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,781 at the 2010 census. Noted for its antique architecture, Thomaston is an old port popular with tourists.
As early as 1630, a trading post was established on the eastern bank of the St. George River, then considered the boundary between New England and New France. In 1704, Thomas LeFebvre from Quebec bought a large tract of land along the Weskeag River on which he built a gristmill, with a house on the shoreline at what is now South Thomaston. The area became known as Thomas' Town. In 1719–1720, the old trading post was remodeled into Fort St. George, a stockaded fort protected by two blockhouses. But Abenaki Indian tribes protested the encroachment of an English fort on their territory. Instigated by the French, they attacked the garrison twice during Dummer's War in 1722, then again in 1723 with a siege lasting 30 days. In response to this and other provocations, soldiers destroyed the Abenaki stronghold of Norridgewock in 1724.
During the French and Indian War, to avenge for the fall of Louisbourg, on August 13, 1758 French officer Boishebert left Miramichi, New Brunswick with 400 soldiers for Fort St George (Thomaston, Maine). His detachment reached there on September 9 but was caught in an ambush and had to withdraw. This was Boishébert's last Acadian expedition. They then went on to raid Friendship, Maine, where people were killed and others taken prisoner. Hostilities of the French and Indian Wars ceased with the 1759 Fall of Quebec.