How to Find the Right Welding Training Class near Troy Alabama
Choosing the right welding trade school near Troy AL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 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 Courses
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Troy AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Troy AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few 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 various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring 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 qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Technical Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Troy AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick 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 ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Troy AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist 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. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Troy AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Troy AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Troy AL welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Troy AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Troy AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly 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 majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Troy AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Troy Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the fourth-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Troy AL
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certificate Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Troy AL.