Category Archives: Rhode Island

Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Saunderstown RI

How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Saunderstown Rhode Island

Saunderstown RI welding school studentFinding the right welder trade school near Saunderstown RI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose 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? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welding trade 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 create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training

Saunderstown RI welder working on pipingThere are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Saunderstown RI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Saunderstown RI welder working on poleThere are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Saunderstown RI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program

Saunderstown RI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Saunderstown RI area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical 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 a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Saunderstown RI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Saunderstown RI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Saunderstown RI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Saunderstown RI welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Saunderstown RI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Saunderstown RI, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Saunderstown RI?

Perhaps you live in the Saunderstown Rhode Island 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.

Saunderstown, Rhode Island

Saunderstown is known as the birthplace of artist Gilbert Stuart, who is best known for painting the portrait of George Washington that is portrayed on the one-dollar bill. The Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum consists of the house in which Stuart was born, a nature trail, and a functional gristmill, and is now open to the public as a museum.[2] Saunderstown is also the location of Casey Farm, an 18th-century plantation that is now a family farm. The farm grows organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers in a Community Agriculture Program. It is operated by Historic New England.[3]

The Saunderstown Historic District encompasses a section of Saunderstown which developed as a boatbuilding center and summer resort area in the late 19th century. It is centered on Ferry Road, Willett Road, and Waterway, between Boston Neck Road and Narragansett Bay. In addition to being home to a number of shipyards, several owned by members of the Saunders family, the area also became noted as a summer resort, hosting Benoni Lockwood and Frances Willing Wharton (a cousin to writer Edith Wharton), as well as the architect and artist Christopher Grant LaFarge, son of the famous artist John La Farge. This area is mainly residential, with wood frame houses one or two stories in height, with vernacular styling. Non-residential buildings include a country store, recreation center (which was formerly a fire barn), and the Saunderstown Post Office, which was built in 1902 as a Baptist church.[4]

Online Welder Classes

pipe welder at work in Saunderstown RIWelding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Saunderstown RI area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Ideal Welding Technical Program Saunderstown RI

Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Saunderstown RI.

 

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