How to Select the Right Welder Certification Program near Livingston Alabama
Enrolling in the right welder technical school near Livingston AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Livingston AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Livingston AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Livingston AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Livingston AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Livingston AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Livingston AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify 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 using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Livingston AL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Livingston AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from 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 a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Livingston AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Livingston AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Livingston AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Livingston Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Livingston is a city in Sumter County, Alabama, United States. By an act of the state legislature, it was incorporated on January 10, 1835. At the 2010 census the population was 3,485, up from 3,297 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Sumter County, and the home of the University of West Alabama. It was named in honor of Edward Livingston, of the Livingston family of New York.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 3,485 people residing in the city. 63.8% were African American, 34.4% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander and 0.6% of two more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,297 people, 1,368 households, and 731 families residing in the city. The population density was 463.1 people per square mile (178.8/km²). There were 1,586 housing units at an average density of 222.8 per square mile (86.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.78% Black or African American, 37.82% White or Caucasian, 0.18% Asian, 0.15% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 1.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational School Livingston AL
Selecting the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Training. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor 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, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Livingston AL.