How to Pick the Right Welder Training Program near Monroeville Alabama
Choosing the right welding school near Monroeville AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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 Programs
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Monroeville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, 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 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 diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Monroeville AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few 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 specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Monroeville AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose 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 want to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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 example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Monroeville 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.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Monroeville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the 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 reduced rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Monroeville AL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Monroeville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Monroeville AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Monroeville AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Monroeville AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Monroeville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Monroeville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
It is known as the hometown of two prominent writers of the post-World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The lasting fame of To Kill a Mockingbird became a tourist draw for the town. In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama."
The town was initially known as Walker's Mill and Store, named for Major Walker, the area's first white settler. In 1832, the county seat was relocated to Monroeville from Claiborne on the Alabama River. The settlement was briefly renamed "Centerville" due to its location in the center of the county, but then it was formally changed to Monroeville. The town was not formally incorporated until April 15, 1899.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.6 km2) is land and 0.0077 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.05%, is water.
Select the Best Welding Tech Program Monroeville AL
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Schools For Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out 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 school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Monroeville AL.