How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Program near Headland Alabama
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near Headland AL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Headland AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Headland AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Headland AL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Headland 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Headland AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Headland AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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. If not, ask a local Headland AL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Headland AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Headland AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Headland AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Headland AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Headland Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Headland is the largest city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama metropolitan area. At the 2010 census the population was 4,510, up from 3,523 at the 2000 census. Ray Marler is the current mayor.
The Headland Public Square was laid off in 1871 by J.J. Head with a vision for a branch courthouse. Henry County voters decided in the 1879 and 1885 courthouse site elections not to locate a courthouse on the public square. Henry has been Alabama's only county with three courthouses at the same time.
Headland incorporated in 1884 with 26 white and 4 black petitioners. The railroad was built in 1893 along with the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Depot. The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1980. It has since been disassembled.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Headland AL
Selecting the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in How Long To Become A Welder. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Headland AL.