How to Enroll In the Right Welder Trade School near Scottsboro Alabama
Choosing the right welding trade school near Scottsboro AL is an important 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Scottsboro AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Scottsboro AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Technical Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Scottsboro AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 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 need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Scottsboro AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Scottsboro AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Scottsboro AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Scottsboro AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Scottsboro AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Scottsboro AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Scottsboro AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Scottsboro Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
Choose the Best Welding Tech School Scottsboro AL
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Adult Education Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Scottsboro AL.