How to Select the Right Welding Certificate Program near Greensboro Alabama
Locating the right welder vocational school near Greensboro AL is an important first step to starting 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Greensboro AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Greensboro 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 offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Greensboro AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Greensboro AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined 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 help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Greensboro AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Greensboro AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Greensboro AL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Greensboro AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Greensboro AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on 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 emergencies.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Greensboro AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, 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 performed 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Greensboro AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Greensboro Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
Choose the Right Welding Trade Program Greensboro AL
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Welding Colleges. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Greensboro AL.