Category Archives: Massachusetts

Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Worcester MA

How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Worcester Massachusetts

Worcester MA welding school studentChoosing the ideal welder trade school near Worcester MA is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Many 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 gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Worcester MA welder working on pipingThere are several options to obtain 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Worcester MA.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Worcester MA welder working on poleThere are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Worcester MA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on 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 various kinds of welds
  • Work in compliance with contract specifications

As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely 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 Pick a Welder Trade Program

Worcester MA welder working on carAs soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Worcester MA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Worcester MA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Worcester MA welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Worcester MA employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Worcester MA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Worcester MA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some 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 flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Worcester MA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Worcester MA?

Perhaps you live in the Worcester Massachusetts 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.

Worcester, Massachusetts

Worcester (/ˈwʊstər/ ( listen) WUUS-tər)[3] is a city and the county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045,[4] making it the second most populous city in New England after Boston.[5] Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, 50 miles (80 km) east of Springfield and 40 miles (64 km) north of Providence. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may also have its provenance in lore that the Valentine's Day card, although not invented in the city, was mass-produced and popularized by Esther Howland who resided in Worcester.[6]

Worcester was considered its own distinct region apart from Boston until the 1970s. Since then, Boston's suburbs have been moving out further westward, especially after the construction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 290. The Worcester region now marks the western periphery of the Boston-Worcester-Providence (MA-RI-NH) U.S. Census Combined Statistical Area (CSA), or Greater Boston. The city features many examples of Victorian-era mill architecture. It is home of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The area was first inhabited by members of the Nipmuc tribe. The native people called the region Quinsigamond and built a settlement on Pakachoag Hill in Auburn.[7] In 1673 English settlers John Eliot and Daniel Gookin led an expedition to Quinsigamond to establish a new Christian Indian "praying town" and identify a new location for an English settlement. On July 13, 1674, Gookin obtained a deed to eight square miles of land in Quinsigamond from the Nipmuc people and English traders and settlers began to inhabit the region.[8]

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Worcester MAWelding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Worcester MA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start 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. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Right Welding Tech School Worcester MA

Selecting the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Worcester MA.

 

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