How to Select the Right Welding Trade School near Stoddard New Hampshire
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Stoddard NH is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Stoddard NH.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Stoddard NH employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some 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 kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Programs
When 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 welding trade and vocational schools in the Stoddard NH area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Stoddard NH for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous 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 after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Stoddard NH welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who were in 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 caliber 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 Stoddard NH employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Stoddard NH welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Stoddard NH home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Stoddard NH, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Stoddard NH area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Stoddard NH?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Stoddard New Hampshire area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Stoddard, New Hampshire
Between 1842 and 1873, the town was home to four glass manufacturers. The glass produced by these works, now known as Stoddard glass, is noted for its deep amber colors and design. Stoddard glass products are highly prized by collectors.
This territory was first granted in 1752 to Colonel Sampson Stoddard of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and others as Monadnock Number 7. It was known locally as Limerick before being incorporated as Stoddard in 1774, in honor of Colonel Stoddard.
Colonel Stoddard was appointed to survey southwestern New Hampshire by the colonial government, receiving several land grants for the service. One of his surveying assistants was Benjamin Pierce, father of U.S. President Franklin Pierce. Colonel Stoddard never lived in the town of Stoddard.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical Program Stoddard NH
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Classes Cost. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Stoddard NH.