How to Enroll In the Right Welder Trade School near Mathews Alabama
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Mathews AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 multiple 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 offered in the Mathews AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Mathews AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states 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 demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Mathews AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Mathews AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Mathews 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 program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Mathews AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Mathews AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Mathews AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mathews AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Mathews AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, 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 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Mathews AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Mathews Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Edwin Lee Mathews (October 13, 1931 – February 18, 2001) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) third baseman. He played 17 seasons for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (1952–66); Houston Astros (1967) and Detroit Tigers (1967–68). Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978, he is the only player to have represented the Braves in the three American cities they have called home. He played 1,944 games for the Braves during their 13-season tenure in Milwaukee—the prime of Mathews' career.
Mathews is regarded as one of the best third basemen ever to play the game. He was an All-Star for nine seasons. He won the National League (NL) home run title in 1953 and 1959 and was the NL Most Valuable Player runner-up both of those seasons. He hit 512 home runs during his major league career. Mathews coached for the Atlanta Braves in 1971, and he was the team's manager from 1972 to 1974. Later, he was a scout and coach for the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Oakland Athletics.
Mathews was born in Texarkana, Texas. He was six years old when his family moved to Santa Barbara, California. The Santa Barbara High School baseball field, where he developed into a star high school baseball player, is named after him. Mathews was signed by the Boston Braves in 1949. He played 63 games that year for the Class D High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms, where he hit 17 home runs and earned a .363 batting average. The next year he hit 32 home runs for the Class AA Atlanta Crackers.
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical Program Mathews AL
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Learning. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. 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 monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Mathews AL.