How to Select a Welder Technical School near Pittsfield New Hampshire
Finding the right welding technical school near Pittsfield NH 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 determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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 brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Pittsfield NH.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Pittsfield NH employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Pittsfield NH area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 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 offers, for example 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Pittsfield NH for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Pittsfield NH welding community.
Job Placement and Completion 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 high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Pittsfield NH contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Pittsfield NH welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Pittsfield NH home. If you do decide to attend 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 welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some 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. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pittsfield NH, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Pittsfield NH?
Perhaps you live in the Pittsfield New Hampshire 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.
Pittsfield, New Hampshire
The central village in town, where 1,576 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Pittsfield census-designated place (CDP), and is located on the Suncook River near the junction of New Hampshire routes 28 and 107.
For many years prior to its 1782 incorporation, this town was an unnamed parish of Chichester. Like Pittsburg in the north, Pittsfield was named for William Pitt, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and a great friend of the Colonies prior to the American Revolution. The town was settled in 1768 by several families originally from Hampton. Founder John Cram built grist and sawmills here in the late 18th century. Since 1901, Globe Manufacturing has made protective clothing for firefighters here.
The town claimed the Guinness World Record in July 2001 as the place where the most number of people wore Groucho Marx glasses at the same time (522). Before Pittsfield's attempt, no other town had tried to set the record.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Pittsfield NH area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate 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. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Pittsfield NH
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best 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 some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Pittsfield NH.
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