How to Enroll In the Right Welder Trade School near Stockton New Jersey
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Stockton NJ is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Stockton NJ.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Stockton NJ employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Stockton NJ area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic 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 verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Stockton NJ for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered 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 must have partnerships 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 relationships within the Stockton NJ welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Stockton NJ employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Stockton NJ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Stockton NJ home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stockton NJ, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Stockton NJ area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 more appropriate for seasoned 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 extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Stockton NJ?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Stockton New Jersey area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Stockton, New Jersey
Stockton is a borough in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, United States. The borough sits on the Delaware River at the western end of Amwell Valley. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 538, reflecting a decline of 22 (-3.9%) from the 560 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 69 (-11.0%) from the 629 counted in the 1990 Census.
Stockton is located along the Delaware River north of Lambertville. The community was first known as Reading Ferry and later as Howell's Ferry. The name was changed to Centre Bridge Station to match the name of the post office and hamlet on the Pennsylvania side of the river. The name became Stockton with the creation of a local post office and railroad station in 1853. The town was named in honor of U.S. Senator Robert Field Stockton, who was instrumental in the creation of the Delaware and Raritan Canal. Stockton soon began to develop as an industrious town with mills and quarries sprouting in the area. In 1852 the Belvidere-Delaware Railroad reached town and accelerated its prosperity. The Borough was incorporated in 1898, having been separated from Delaware Township.
The tiny town remains today much as it was in the eighteenth century. For all its small size and charm, the town is presided over by an old inn, the Stockton Inn (formerly known as Colligan's Stockton Inn). Established in 1710, it is the inn that was immortalized by Richard Rodgers in the song "There's a Small Hotel (with a wishing well)" sung in the Broadway play On Your Toes. First built as a private residence it is believed to have been converted to an inn around 1832. The Stockton Inn is temporarily closed (July 2017).
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Stockton NJ
Selecting the right welding 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 Cost Of Welding School. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many 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 evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Stockton NJ.
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