How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Class near Gordo Alabama
Selecting the right welder school near Gordo AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise 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
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Gordo AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Gordo AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind 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 various kinds of welds
- Work 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 means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Gordo AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic 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 verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Gordo AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon 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 relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Gordo AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Gordo AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm 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 on the job. If you are unsure 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 Gordo AL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Gordo AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gordo AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide 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 should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Gordo AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Gordo AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Gordo Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Gordo is a town in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,750, up from 1,677 in 2000. It was the second largest town in Pickens County as of 2010, taking the title from Reform, which it previously held in 1960 and 1970. The town incorporated in 1900.
The city is located in west central Alabama along U.S. Route 82, which runs northwest to southeast through the town. It leads southeast 22 mi (35 km) to Northport and 23 mi (37 km) to Tuscaloosa. It runs northwest 8 mi (13 km) to Reform and 37 mi (60 km) to Columbus, Mississippi. Alabama State Route 86 runs west 14 mi (23 km) to Carrollton, the Pickens county seat. Alabama State Route 159 runs north 31 mi (50 km) to Fayette.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,750 people residing in the town. 58.9% were White, 37.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Gordo AL
Choosing the best welder school 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 Job Training. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Gordo AL.