How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Temple Hills Maryland
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Temple Hills MD is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder 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 create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Temple Hills MD.
- 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 nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Temple Hills MD employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Temple Hills MD area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Temple Hills MD 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 also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some 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 placement program. These schools should have relationships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Temple Hills MD welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Temple Hills MD contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Temple Hills MD welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Temple Hills MD 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 particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Temple Hills MD, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Temple Hills MD?
Perhaps you live in the Temple Hills Maryland 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.
Temple Hills, Maryland
Temple Hills is a suburb of Washington, D.C., southeast of the downtown district. It is an unincorporated area and census-designated place (CDP) in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,852.
The community was named after Dr. Edward Temple, who in the 1860s lived in a home beside Henson Creek known as Moor Park. Within the area are numerous garden apartments, duplexes, and single family communities constructed mostly from the 1950s through 1970s. The large community of Hillcrest Heights is nearby (and has a Temple Hills mailing address), with the 1960s 2-level Iverson Mall and Marlow Heights shopping centers.
Rosecroft Raceway (since 1949, harness horse racing) is nearby in Oxon Hill, although the racing audience has declined greatly. There are large public indoor and outdoor swimming pools operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and also the private Temple Hills Swim Club. Students may attend either Potomac, Crossland, Friendly high schools. The area is especially convenient to the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495), the Metrorail Green Line, Andrews Air Force Base, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Capitol Hill.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Temple Hills MD area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Tech Program Temple Hills MD
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few 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, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Temple Hills MD.
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