How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Woodbury New York
Choosing the ideal welder school near Woodbury NY is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating 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 school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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 Courses
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Woodbury NY area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the Woodbury NY welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Woodbury NY employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills 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 mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the Woodbury NY welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless 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 more appropriate for experienced Woodbury NY welders that would like 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 cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welder Vocational School near Woodbury NY
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Woodbury NY area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Woodbury NY welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various Woodbury NY metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Woodbury NY employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect 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 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. Otherwise, ask a local Woodbury NY welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Woodbury NY home. If you do choose 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 particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been in New York and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodbury NY, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select 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.
Looking at Welding Schools in Woodbury NY?
Woodbury, New York
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical School near Woodbury NY
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Woodbury NY.
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