How to Select the Right Welder Degree Program near Greenville Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder school near Greenville AL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to get 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Greenville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Greenville AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also 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 just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Greenville AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program 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 evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Greenville AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various 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. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Greenville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Greenville AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Greenville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Greenville AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential 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 welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville AL, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Greenville AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Greenville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Greenville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.
Select the Right Welding Tech School Greenville AL
Choosing the right welding school will probably 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 Bachelor’s Degree In Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Greenville AL.