How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Lanett Alabama
Locating the ideal welding trade school near Lanett AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welder technical 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 sensible 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Lanett AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Lanett AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. 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 various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Lanett AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm 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 an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Lanett 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 also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate 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 considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established 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 Lanett AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lanett AL employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify 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 using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Lanett AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Lanett AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lanett AL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lanett AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Lanett AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lanett Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Lanett is a city in Chambers County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,468, down from 7,897 in 2000. Lanett, originally called Bluffton, is located in eastern Alabama, on the Chattahoochee River, southwest of Atlanta. The city's name is derived from Lafayette Lanier and Theodore Bennett, founders of the West Point Manufacturing Company.
Lanett is located on the eastern edge of Chambers County at 32°51'48.326" North, 85°11'58.862" West (32.863424, -85.199684). Its eastern boundary is the Alabama–Georgia state line, with the town of West Point, Georgia, bordering Lanett to the east. Interstate 85 forms the southeast boundary of Lanett, with the city of Valley, Alabama, on the other side of the highway. The unincorporated community of Huguley is along Lanett's southwest border.
The Chattahoochee River forms the state line and eastern boundary of Lanett from I-85 north to the downtown area, at which point the state line turns north-northwest and becomes a land boundary between Lanett and West Point, Georgia.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Lanett AL
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in MIG Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lanett AL.