How to Select a Welder Training Program near Dover Delaware
Finding the right welding trade school near Dover DE is an essential first step to starting your new career 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Dover DE.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Dover DE employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds 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 certain that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Dover DE area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose 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 superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Dover DE for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Dover DE welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Dover DE contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Dover DE welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Dover DE home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some 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 present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dover DE, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Dover DE?
Perhaps you live in the Dover Delaware 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.
Dover (/ˈdoʊvər/) is the capital and second-largest city in the U.S. state of Delaware. It is also the county seat of Kent County, and the principal city of the Dover, DE Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Kent County and is part of the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Camden, PA-NJ-DE-MD Combined Statistical Area. It is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River coastal plain. It was named by William Penn of Dover in Kent, England. As of 2010, the city had a population of 36,047.
First recorded in its Latinised form of Portus Dubris, the name derives from the Brythonic word for waters (dwfr in Middle Welsh). The same element is present in the towns French (Douvres) and Modern Welsh (Dofr) forms. The city is named after Dover, Kent in England.
Dover was founded as the court town for newly established Kent County in 1683 by William Penn, the proprietor of the territory generally known as the "Lower Counties on the Delaware." Later, in 1717, the city was officially laid out by a special commission of the Delaware General Assembly. The capital of the state of Delaware was moved here from New Castle in 1777 because of its central location and relative safety from British raiders on the Delaware River. Because of an act passed in October 1779, the assembly elected to meet at any place in the state they saw fit, meeting successively in Wilmington, Lewes, Dover, New Castle, and Lewes again, until it finally settled down permanently in Dover in October 1781. The city's central square, known as The Green, was the location of many rallies, troop reviews, and other patriotic events. To this day, The Green remains the heart of Dover's historic district and is the location of the Delaware Supreme Court and the Kent County Courthouse.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Dover DE area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate 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. Naturally that can’t be performed 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 would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Dover DE
Picking the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Dover DE.