How to Choose the Right Welder Trade School near Spofford New Hampshire
Finding the right welder school near Spofford NH is an essential 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welder technical 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 sensible 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Spofford NH.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop 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 2 years to complete and are usually 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Spofford NH employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for 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 qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on 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 Spofford NH area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, 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 want to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Spofford NH for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding 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 looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Spofford NH welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Spofford NH employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Spofford NH welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding school you select must be within driving distance of your Spofford NH home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Spofford NH, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Spofford NH area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Spofford NH?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Spofford New Hampshire area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Spofford, New Hampshire
Spofford is an unincorporated community in the northeastern part of the town of Chesterfield in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. It is situated at the outlet of Spofford Lake and is located along New Hampshire Route 9A. While no population figures are available for Spofford, it is slightly larger than the town-center village of Chesterfield. Children who live in Spofford go to Chesterfield School. Spofford has a different ZIP code (03462) from the rest of Chesterfield.
Home to Spofford Lake, there are two different beaches to visit. On Route 9A there is Ware's Grove Beach where out-of-town visitors can pay $6 for a day pass or $125 for a season pass. The other is North Shore Beach on North Shore Road, which is open to town residents only.
Select the Best Welding Vocational School Spofford NH
Selecting the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Trade School Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Spofford NH.