How to Choose the Right Welder Training Program near Hodges Alabama
Finding the ideal welding school near Hodges AL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
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 offered 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. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Hodges AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Hodges AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring 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 experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Hodges AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 offers, for instance 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 recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Hodges AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined 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 looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Hodges AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high 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 Hodges AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Hodges AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Hodges AL home. If you do choose 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 true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hodges AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Hodges AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hodges AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hodges Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Albert E. Hodge (April 18, 1912 – March 19, 1979) was an American actor best known for playing space adventurer Captain Video on the DuMont Television Network from December 15, 1950, to April 1, 1955. He played the Green Hornet on radio from January 1936 until January 1943.
Hodge was born in Ravenna, Ohio. His parents operated a tailoring and dry-cleaning business. Hodge acted and took part in sports at Ravenna High School. Nicknamed "Abie", he was a track star, a drum major and manager of the band, sang bass in the boys glee club and was a cheerleader.
Hodge graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1934, majoring in drama. After touring as an actor with the Casford Players, he was hired by WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan. Besides originating the role of Britt Reid, the Green Hornet, Hodge wrote and delivered daily editorials, announced at football games, wrote advertising copy, worked as a disc jockey, and produced radio dramas and documentaries, including The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and was bedridden for a year with pleurisy.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Hodges AL
Selecting the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Colleges With Welding Programs. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hodges AL.