Category Archives: Rhode Island

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

How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Riverside Rhode Island

Riverside RI welding school studentSelecting the ideal welding vocational school near Riverside RI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish 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 Certificate and Degree Programs

Riverside RI welder working on pipingThere are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Riverside RI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Riverside RI welder working on poleThere are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Riverside RI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to 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 earlier mentioned, some 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 a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welding Technical School

Riverside RI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Riverside RI area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Riverside RI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Riverside RI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Riverside RI employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Riverside RI welding professional if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Riverside RI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Riverside RI, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Riverside RI?

Perhaps you live in the Riverside 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.

Riverside, Rhode Island

Riverside is a suburban neighborhood of Providence. Adjoining Riverside are the town of Barrington in Bristol County to the south, Narragansett Bay to the west, the rest of East Providence to the north, and the Runnins River and Seekonk, Massachusetts to the east.

Riverside most notably became a tourist attraction in the late 19th and early 20th century due to the presence of Crescent Park Amusement Park, known as the “Coney Island of the East”. The 50 acre park operated from 1886 until 1979, and was famous for its Rhode Island Shore Dinners as well as the Alhambra Ballroom, where famous Big Bands played, and the bustling midway which included roller coasters, kiddie land, rides and games. Although the park in now gone, the famous 1895 Crescent Park Looff Carousel has been preserved and continues in operation every summer. The Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works.[2]

Many hotels, guest houses and shore dinner halls operated in Riverside in the late 19th century to accommodate the influx of summer visitors escaping the big city. Also available were several tent sites like Camp White and Camp Fuller. The Vue de l'Eau Hotel was built around 1860. The four-story Riverside Hotel boasted its own wharf and a huge ballroom overlooking the bay. After a few years, it was dismantled and shipped by barge to Nantucket. Pomham House opened in 1867 with its own wharf. The popular Silver Spring Hotel was opened two years later by developer, Hiram Maxfield. In addition to the hotel, it included a shore dinner hall and summer cottages.

Online Welding Schools

pipe welder at work in Riverside RIWelding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Riverside RI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use 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 seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Tech Program Riverside RI

Picking the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Riverside RI.

 

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