How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Adger Alabama
Locating the right welder technical school near Adger AL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to get 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Adger AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Adger AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Adger AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Adger AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Adger 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 crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Adger AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Adger AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Adger AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Adger AL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Adger AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Adger AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Adger Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The community is served by a volunteer fire department as well as a Neighborhood Watch office, which doubles as a working office for Jefferson County sheriff's deputies who patrol the area. It is governed by the Jefferson County Commission and the various departments and facets of the County Government.
The town is named for Andrew M. Adger, originally of Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Adger moved to Bessemer, Alabama, when he became an investor in and secretary-treasurer of the Bessemer Land & Improvement Company. He also was an operating officer of the Debardeleben Coal & Iron Company. Adger is a rural community that arose in the late 1880s during development of Debardeleben's Adger, Johns, and Belle Sumter mines in the Blue Creek Coal Basin. The mines were operating at their peak in the early Twentieth Century. The Black Diamond Mine also operated in the Adger community along Blue Creek road where the mine's Hoist Tipple and Portal were located about 100 yards west of the Old Blue Creek Baptist Church. Since the closing of the mines the community has seen both periodic growth and decline. Currently ( March 2013 ) the Adger, Johns, Sumter and Black Diamond Coal mine sites are being strip mined by Durmmond Coal's Twin Pines Mining Company and only a few concrete foundations remain, hidden in the thick privet growth, that hint back to the original mining interest.
Its location is about 5.0 miles (8.0 km) northwest and about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) from Interstates 20/59 which merge in Northeast Jefferson County and run through Jefferson County into Tuscaloosa County and northward into Walker County. It is the former location of Oak Grove High School on Lock 17 Road. An F5 tornado destroyed it on April 8, 1998. City-Data.com reports the area to be 131 square miles (340 km2) with a population density of 23 per square mile. The zip code is 35006.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Adger AL
Selecting the ideal welder training program 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 School. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Adger AL.