How to Pick the Right Welder Technical School near Autaugaville Alabama
Enrolling in the right welding vocational school near Autaugaville AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Autaugaville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Autaugaville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Autaugaville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 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 pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as 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 obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Autaugaville AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Autaugaville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Autaugaville AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Autaugaville AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Autaugaville AL home. If you do opt 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 especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Autaugaville AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Autaugaville AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Autaugaville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Autaugaville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
As of the census of 2010, there were 870 people, 350 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 114.2 people per square mile (44.1/km2). There were 412 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 66.8% Black or African American, 31.3% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. 0.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 350 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 26.0% has a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Autaugaville AL
Picking the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certificates. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Autaugaville AL.