How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Fenwick Island Delaware
Finding the ideal welder school near Fenwick Island DE is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Fenwick Island DE.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Fenwick Island DE employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Fenwick Island DE area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Fenwick Island DE for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Fenwick Island DE welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Fenwick Island DE employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Fenwick Island DE welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Fenwick Island DE home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers 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. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Fenwick Island DE, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Fenwick Island DE?
Perhaps you live in the Fenwick Island 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.
Fenwick Island, Delaware
Fenwick Island is a coastal town in Sussex County, Delaware, USA. According to 2010 census figures, the population of the town is 379, a 10.8% increase over the last decade. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is located on Fenwick Island, a barrier spit.
Fenwick Island and its neighbors to the north, Bethany Beach and South Bethany are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts". This is in contradiction to the wild atmosphere of Dewey Beach and the cosmopolitan bustle of Rehoboth Beach. Fenwick Island, however, is somewhat less "quiet" than "the Bethanies" because it is immediately across the state line from Ocean City, Maryland, which has a reputation as a lively vacation resort.
Named after Thomas Fenwick, a planter from England who settled in Maryland, Fenwick Island lay in the part of Delaware which was claimed by Lord Baltimore and his heirs during the Penn-Baltimore border dispute.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Fenwick Island DE area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Vocational School Fenwick Island DE
Choosing the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Fenwick Island DE.