How to Choose a Welder Technical School near East Providence Rhode Island
Selecting the ideal welding school near East Providence RI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Training Programs
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the East Providence RI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying 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 find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of East Providence RI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the East Providence RI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in East Providence RI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the East Providence RI 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 school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of East Providence RI contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local East Providence RI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your East Providence RI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers 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 working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near East Providence RI, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near East Providence RI?
Perhaps you live in the East Providence 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.
East Providence, Rhode Island
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.6 square miles (43 km2), of which, 13.4 square miles (35 km2) of it is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it (19.33%) is water.
In 1641, the Plymouth Colony purchased from the Indians a large tract of land which today includes the northern half of East Providence (from Watchemoket to Rumford), Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Seekonk, Massachusetts, and part of Pawtucket. Four years later, John Brown of Plymouth bought a considerably smaller piece of land from the Indians, which today comprises the southern part of East Providence (Riverside), Barrington, and a small part of Swansea. Finally, in 1661, Plymouth completed the "North Purchase" from which Attleboro, North Attleboro, and Cumberland were later formed. Over the whole the authorities gave the name 'Rehoboth'. The center of this large settlement, which is sometimes referred to as 'Old Rehoboth', is within the borders of modern East Providence. In 1812, the western half of Old Rehoboth was set off as a separate township called Seekonk, Massachusetts. Old Rehoboth's town center now became the heart of Old Seekonk. Finally, in 1862, the western part of Old Seekonk was ceded to Rhode Island and incorporated as East Providence.
Beginning around 1900 and continuing until the onset of the Depression in 1930, large numbers of Portuguese from Providence, Fall River, New Bedford, and Portugal settled in East Providence. By 1905, there were over 400 Portuguese in the town, the third highest in the state. The Portuguese, like other ethnic groups, were drawn to East Providence primarily by the lure of jobs. Many employment opportunities were available in the Watchemoket area, where numerous immigrants settled.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater East Providence RI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School East Providence RI
Picking the best welder 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 several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in East Providence RI.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 9