How to Enroll In the Right Welder Degree Program near Trussville Alabama
Selecting the right welding technical school near Trussville AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Trussville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams 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 provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Trussville AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities 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 way 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 make certain that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Trussville AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Trussville AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Trussville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Trussville AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Trussville AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Trussville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Trussville AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Trussville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Trussville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Trussville is a city in Jefferson and St. Clair counties in the State of Alabama. It is a suburb of Birmingham and part of the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2015 population was 21,023.
Trussville has been recognized as one of the most livable cities in the state and country. It was named one of the ten best towns in Alabama for young families, listed among the five best Birmingham suburbs, and included in Money magazine's list of 100 best places to live in America.
The first European settler to establish residence in the area was Warren Truss, who entered the area with his brothers and constructed a grist mill on the Cahaba River in 1821. Truss was a North Carolina man of English descent. Trussville remained an agricultural community until after the Civil War, when the Alabama-Chattanooga Railway was built through the city. By 1886 a blast furnace was built on what is now the site of the new Cahaba Elementary School. Trussville was listed as an incorporated community on the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census rolls. At some point after 1900 until its reincorporation in 1947, it did not appear on census records.
Find the Best Welding Tech Program Trussville AL
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Courses For Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Trussville AL.