How to Enroll In the Right Welder Technical School near Auburn University Alabama
Finding the right welder vocational school near Auburn University AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Classes
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Auburn University AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Auburn University AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent 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 specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Trade Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Auburn University AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types 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 verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Auburn University AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Auburn University AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Auburn University AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Auburn University AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Auburn University AL home. If you do choose 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 particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Auburn University AL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Auburn University AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Auburn University AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Auburn University Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a public research and land-grant university in Auburn, Alabama, US. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. It is one of the state's two public flagship universities. The university is classified as an RI: Doctoral Research—Very High Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Auburn University AL
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Auburn University AL.