How to Find the Right Welder Training Class near Windham Maine
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Windham ME is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Windham ME.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Windham ME employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Windham 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 very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Windham ME for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Windham ME welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Windham ME employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Windham ME welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Windham ME home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Windham ME, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend 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 because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Windham ME?
Perhaps you live in the Windham 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.
Windham is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 17,001 at the 2010 census. It includes the villages of South Windham and North Windham. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The township was granted in 1734 by the Massachusetts General Court to Abraham Howard, Joseph Blaney and 58 others from Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1737, New Marblehead Plantation was settled by Captain Thomas Chute. By order of the Massachusetts General Court, a fort was built in spring of 1744 on a hill in the southern part of town near the early center of settlement to offer protection during King George's War. A 50-foot square blockhouse constructed of 12-inch thick hewn hemlock had an overhanging second story with firing ports and two swivel guns in watch posts on diagonal corners. The blockhouse was surrounded by a stockade wall of 12-inch diameter log posts 16 feet long. The single gate through the stockade wall was covered by a 4.2-inch (11 cm) bore 9-pounder cannon within the blockhouse.
The town's inhabitants took shelter in the stockade between 1745 and 1751. The last Indian attack on the town occurred on May 14, 1756. New Marblehead Plantation was incorporated on June 12, 1762 as Windham, named for Wymondham in Norfolk, England. Windham Minutemen marched to Portland in response to the Burning of Falmouth on 18 October 1775 and sixteen men were drafted from the town for the Penobscot Expedition. Thirteen Windham men are reported as being members of the Continental Army with George Washington's American Revolutionary War winter encampment at Valley Forge. Windham's 9-pounder cannon and one swivel gun from the stockade blockhouse were loaned to Portland in 1775. Portland had refused to surrender these guns to Captain Henry Mowat as he demanded before he burned the town; and they were placed aboard the privateer Reprieve in 1776.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Windham ME area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade Program Windham ME
Selecting the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Windham ME.