How to Choose a Welding Trade School near White Sulphur Springs New York
Choosing the right welding trade school near White Sulphur Springs NY is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. 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 examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the White Sulphur Springs NY.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 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, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many White Sulphur Springs NY employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, 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 does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the White Sulphur Springs NY area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in White Sulphur Springs NY for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the White Sulphur Springs NY welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of White Sulphur Springs NY employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 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 White Sulphur Springs NY welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your White Sulphur Springs NY home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near White Sulphur Springs NY, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near White Sulphur Springs NY?
Perhaps you live in the White Sulphur Springs New York 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.
White Sulphur Spring
The White Sulphur Spring Hotel was a hotel located on the east (that is, south) end of Saratoga Lake in the town of Stillwater, New York. The exact date of construction is unsettled, but the consensus supports 1874. The hotel was built "presumably for the Boston & Hoosac Tunnel Railroad, which later became a branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad." The hotel was named after a spring on the property. There had previously been a hotel in the vicinity which burned prior to 1859.
About ten years later the hotel was leased by Thomas C. Luther, who purchased it in 1888 and whose family operated it until his death in 1937. In its heyday the hotel hosted "many famous celebrities of the early twentieth century—Lillian Russell, “Diamond Jim” Brady, Jack Dempsey, and wealthy financier Jay Gould among them." The facilities boasted a boxing ring used for training by Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, and Angel Firpo. The hotel was renowned for its "fish and game suppers."
Luther operated excursion boats on Saratoga Lake between the hotel and the "Trolley Park", later Kaydeross Park, and Moon's Lake House at the west (that is, north) end of the lake. The first boat was the Lady of the Lake, and the second was named the Alice, after his wife.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater White Sulphur Springs NY area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have 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 expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School White Sulphur Springs NY
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important 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 evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in White Sulphur Springs NY.