How to Enroll In the Right Welding Training Class near Tuskegee Institute Alabama
Choosing the right welding trade school near Tuskegee Institute AL is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 select the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welding trade 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Tuskegee Institute AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often 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.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Tuskegee Institute AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds 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, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Tuskegee Institute AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of 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 need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Tuskegee Institute AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Tuskegee Institute 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 essential that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tuskegee Institute 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 schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Tuskegee Institute AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Tuskegee Institute AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tuskegee Institute AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick 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 circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Tuskegee Institute AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate 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. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Tuskegee Institute AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Tuskegee Institute Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university (HBCU) located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It was established by Lewis Adams and Booker T. Washington. The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service. The university was home to scientist George Washington Carver and to World War II's Tuskegee Airmen.
Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor's degree programs, 17 master's degree programs, a 5-year accredited professional degree program in architecture, 4 doctoral degree programs, and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The university is home to over 3,100 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. Tuskegee University was ranked among 2018's best 379 colleges and universities by The Princeton Review and 6th among the 2018 U.S. News & World Report best HBCUs.
The university's campus was designed by architect Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in conjunction with David Williston, the first professionally trained African-American landscape architect.
Pick the Right Welding Trade Program Tuskegee Institute AL
Selecting the ideal 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 How Can I Become A Welder. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Tuskegee Institute AL.