How to Select the Right Welder Training Class near Brewton Alabama
Finding the right welding technical school near Brewton AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Brewton AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Brewton AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Brewton AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Brewton AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Brewton 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 crucial that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Brewton AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Brewton AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Brewton AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brewton AL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Brewton AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Brewton AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Brewton Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle.
In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.
During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber stimulated the founding of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to the Gulf.
Choose the Right Welding Tech School Brewton AL
Picking the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Vocational Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Brewton AL.