How to Select the Right Welding Certification Program near Stratham New Hampshire
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Stratham NH is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options to get 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Stratham NH.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Stratham NH employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just 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 various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Stratham NH area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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 single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Stratham NH for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place 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 relationships within the Stratham NH 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 important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Stratham NH employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Stratham NH welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Stratham NH home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might 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, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few 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 profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stratham NH, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Stratham NH area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant 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 have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Stratham NH?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Stratham New Hampshire area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Stratham, New Hampshire
Stratham is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The town had a population of 7,255 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 7,280 in 2013. It is bounded on the west by the Squamscott River. The town is the home of the only U.S. Lindt & Sprüngli factory and the headquarters of the Timberland Corporation.
Stratham was settled in 1631 and incorporated in 1716. The area, called Winnicutt by the Pennacook Indians, was known as Squamscott Patent or Point of Rocks because of its location between Great Bay and the Squamscott River. The sixth town in the colony to be incorporated, the town was named for Wriothesley Russell, Baron Howland of Streatham, a friend of New Hampshire Royal Governor Samuel Shute.
The town is unusual among New England settlements of its size in having been comprehensively mapped in 1793 by Phinehas Merrill. It is therefore possible to identify how many of the extant buildings of the town predate the map.
Choose the Right Welding Tech Program Stratham NH
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Underwater Welding Schools Cost. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Stratham NH.