How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Washburn Maine
Selecting the right welder vocational school near Washburn ME is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Washburn ME.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Washburn ME employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Washburn ME area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 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 must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Washburn ME for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Washburn ME welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who were in 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Washburn ME employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Washburn ME 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 issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Washburn ME home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area 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 welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Washburn ME, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Washburn ME area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, 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 performed online. These skills need to 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Washburn ME?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Washburn Maine area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Washburn is a town in Aroostook County, Maine, United States. It was incorporated on February 25, 1861, and named after Israel Washburn, the governor of Maine at the time. The population was 1,687 at the 2010 census. Benjamin C. Wilder House, which was built in 1852, is located on Main Street in Washburn and predates the town's incorporation by nine years.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.94 square miles (90.49 km2), of which 34.24 square miles (88.68 km2) is land and 0.70 square miles (1.81 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,687 people, 699 households, and 483 families residing in the town. The population density was 49.3 inhabitants per square mile (19.0/km2). There were 768 housing units at an average density of 22.4 per square mile (8.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.7% White, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade Program Washburn ME
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Coded Welding Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to 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 training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Washburn ME.