How to Pick the Right Welder Degree Program near Deatsville Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Deatsville AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding vocational 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 prudent to establish 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 Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Deatsville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Deatsville AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as 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 skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Deatsville AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Deatsville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Deatsville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Deatsville AL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Deatsville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Deatsville AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could 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 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. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Deatsville AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Deatsville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Deatsville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Deatsville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Deatsville is a town in Elmore County, Alabama, United States. Although Deatsville initially incorporated in 1903, it lapsed at some point after the 1910 U.S. Census and did not appear again as incorporated until 2000. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,154, up from 340 in 2000. Holtville High School is located near Deatsville.
Deatsville is located in western Elmore County at 32°35′38″N 86°23′36″W / 32.59389°N 86.39333°W / 32.59389; -86.39333 (32.593958, -86.393454). It is bordered to the west by Autauga County and to the south by the city of Millbrook.
Alabama State Route 143 passes through the center of Deatsville, leading northwest 22 miles (35 km) to Clanton and southeast 8 miles (13 km) to Elmore. Montgomery, the state capital, is 23 miles (37 km) to the south.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School Deatsville AL
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Local Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Deatsville AL.