How to Choose the Right Welder Trade School near Thorndike Maine
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Thorndike ME is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Thorndike ME.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. 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 supplemental 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Thorndike ME employers not only require 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 skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Technical Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Thorndike ME area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Thorndike ME for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established 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 establish relationships within the Thorndike ME welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Thorndike ME employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities 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 in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Thorndike ME welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Thorndike ME home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Thorndike ME, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Thorndike ME area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Thorndike ME?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Thorndike Maine area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.26 square miles (65.42 km2), all of it land. The town is drained by Halfmoon Stream. The town is crossed by state routes SR 220 and SR 139.
As of the census of 2010, there were 890 people, 330 households, and 232 families residing in the town. The population density was 35.2 inhabitants per square mile (13.6/km2). There were 396 housing units at an average density of 15.7 per square mile (6.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.5% White, 0.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 330 households of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.7% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.16.
Find the Right Welding Technical Program Thorndike ME
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Training In Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Thorndike ME.