How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Springvale Maine
Choosing the right welding trade school near Springvale ME is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest 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 crucial concerns when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Springvale ME area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. 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 specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare 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 Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Springvale ME employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like 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 acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Springvale ME area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Springvale ME for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Springvale ME welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Springvale ME employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure 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 Springvale ME welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Springvale ME home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Springvale ME, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Springvale ME area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 done 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 degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
MIG Welding Classes Springvale ME
Picking the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in MIG Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic Welding Degree Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Springvale ME.
Find More Welding Locations in Maine
Springvale is a village and former census-designated place in the city of Sanford in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,292 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area. The CDP was abolished when the town of Sanford reincorporated as a city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), of which 3.1 square miles (8.1 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 3.69%, is water. Springvale is drained by the Mousam River.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Springvale has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.