How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near Tilton New Hampshire
Locating the right welding school near Tilton NH is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Tilton NH.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Tilton NH employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Tilton NH area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Tilton NH for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help 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. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Tilton NH welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tilton NH employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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. Otherwise, ask a local Tilton NH welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Tilton NH home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tilton NH, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Tilton NH area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice 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. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Tilton NH?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Tilton New Hampshire area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Tilton, New Hampshire
Tilton is a town on the Winnipesaukee River in Belknap County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,567 at the 2010 census. It includes the village of Lochmere. Tilton is home to the Tilton School, a private preparatory school.
Originally the southern part of Sanbornton, the present area of Tilton was known as Sanbornton Bridge and Bridge Village. These two names refer to the bridge, built in 1763, that crossed the Winnipesaukee River from Canterbury to Sanbornton and onto what is now Main Street in Tilton. In 1869, Sanbornton Bridge was set off and incorporated as Tilton, named in honor of Nathaniel Tilton, whose grandson Charles E. Tilton was the owner of textile mills and the community's wealthiest citizen. Nathaniel Tilton established an iron foundry and the area's first hotel, the Dexter House. Charles E. Tilton donated many statues to the town, a unique feature, and his estate is now part of the Tilton School. Tilton Hall, his former mansion built in 1861, houses the Lucian Hunt Library. The attached carriage house was renovated in 1980 to become the Helene Grant Daly Art Center.
Charles E. Tilton also donated what is perhaps the most notable landmark in the area, the hilltop Memorial Arch, located in the neighboring town of Northfield, across the Winnipesaukee River from the center of Tilton. The Roman arch replica was built in the late 1800s as a memorial to his ancestors. It is built of Concord granite, 50 feet (15 m) high and 40 feet (12 m) wide.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Tilton NH
Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn To Weld Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tilton NH.