How to Choose a Welding Certification Course near Yarmouth Maine
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Yarmouth ME is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, 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 homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Training Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Yarmouth ME.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Yarmouth ME employers not only demand 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 on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade Program
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Yarmouth ME area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic 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 has, for instance 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 recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Yarmouth ME for schools that are not accredited. 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. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon 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 partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Yarmouth ME welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Yarmouth ME employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Yarmouth ME welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select must be within driving distance of your Yarmouth ME home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yarmouth ME, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain 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 because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Yarmouth ME?
Perhaps you live in the Yarmouth Maine area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.
The town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the banks of the Royal River, which empties into Casco Bay less than a mile away, means it is a prime location as a harbor. Ships were built in the harbor mainly between 1818 and the 1870s, at which point demand declined dramatically. Meanwhile, the Royal River's four waterfalls within Yarmouth, whose Main Street sits about 80 feet above sea level, resulted in the foundation of almost sixty mills between 1674 and 1931.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.94 square miles (59.41 km2), of which, 13.35 square miles (34.58 km2) (58%) is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Yarmouth ME area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment 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 find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Best Welding Tech School Yarmouth ME
Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Yarmouth ME.