How to Pick the Right Welder Trade School near Hanceville Alabama
Locating the right welding school near Hanceville AL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding technical 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 wise to create 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Hanceville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Hanceville AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Hanceville AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Hanceville AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 relationships within the Hanceville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Hanceville AL employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Hanceville AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Hanceville AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hanceville AL, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Hanceville AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Hanceville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hanceville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Founded in Blount County, Hanceville was incorporated in May 1879. At the time of Cullman County's creation in 1877, half of Hanceville resided in each county. In 1885, county boundaries were redrawn and all of Hanceville was placed within Blount County. In 1901, county boundaries were redrawn again and this time all of the town was placed within Cullman County, for which it has remained.
Hanceville is located in southeastern Cullman County at 34°3′48″N 86°45′39″W / 34.06333°N 86.76083°W / 34.06333; -86.76083 (34.063463, -86.760908).U.S. Route 31 passes through the city, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Cullman, the county seat, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Smoke Rise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,951 people, 1,167 households, and 710 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.6 people per square mile (277.2/km²). There were 1,323 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 4.61% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Welding Tech Program Hanceville AL
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Classes For Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Hanceville AL.