How to Pick the Right Welder Training Class near Dothan Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Dothan AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Dothan AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep 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 Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Dothan AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Dothan AL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Dothan AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Dothan AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who were in 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Dothan AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, 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. Otherwise, ask a local Dothan AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Dothan AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dothan AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Dothan AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Dothan AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Dothan Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Dothan /ˈdoʊθən/ is a city in Dale, Henry, and Houston counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is the county seat of Houston County and the seventh largest city in Alabama, with a population of 65,496 at the 2010 census. It is near the state's southeastern corner, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of the Georgia state line and 16 miles (26 km) north of Florida. It is named after the biblical city, the place where Joseph's brothers threw him into a cistern and sold him into slavery in Egypt.
Dothan is the principal city of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area, which encompasses all of Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties; the small portion in Dale County is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The combined population of the entire Dothan metropolitan area in 2010 was 145,639. The city serves as the main transportation and commercial hub for a significant part of southeastern Alabama, southwest Georgia, and nearby portions of the Florida Panhandle. Since approximately one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop is produced nearby, much of it processed in the city, Dothan is known as "The Peanut Capital of the World". It also hosts the annual National Peanut Festival at the dedicated "Peanut Festival Fairgrounds".
The area that is now Dothan was inhabited for thousands of years by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. In historic times it was occupied by the Alabama and Creek Native American tribes who were hunters and gatherers in the vast forests of pine that covered this region. These tribes had developed complex cultures, and often used to meet and camp for trading near a large spring at the crossroads of two trails.
Pick the Best Welding Tech Program Dothan AL
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certificate Program. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school 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 education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Dothan AL.