How to Pick the Right Welding Certificate Program near Eastaboga Alabama
Finding the right welding technical school near Eastaboga AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Eastaboga AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Eastaboga AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like 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 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 mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Eastaboga AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at 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 considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Eastaboga AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various 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 assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Eastaboga AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Eastaboga AL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Eastaboga AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Eastaboga AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eastaboga AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend 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 if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Eastaboga AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need 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 knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Eastaboga AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Eastaboga Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Eastaboga is an Unincorporated community on the border of Talladega and Calhoun counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was previously called McFall, named for a settling family in the 1850s, and incorporated in 1898, only to be disincorporated in 1901. The original community of Eastaboga was to the south and became known as Old Eastaboga after McFall's name was changed to Eastaboga.
The present unincorporated community of Eastaboga was listed as the incorporated town of McFall on the 1900 census, and had 820 residents. Of that, a majority, 482, lived on the Talladega County side, and 338 lived on the Calhoun County side. It was disincorporated after just 3 years in 1901 and the post office closed under that name in 1906. At some point on, it was renamed Eastaboga (while the nearby community to the south of the same name became "Old Eastaboga").
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech Program Eastaboga AL
Picking the best welding training program will undoubtedly 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 MIG Welding Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Eastaboga AL.