How to Choose the Right Welder Certificate Program near New Brockton Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welding school near New Brockton AL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the New Brockton AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of New Brockton AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the New Brockton AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in New Brockton AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon 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 refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the New Brockton 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 important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of New Brockton AL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm 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 not sure 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 New Brockton AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your New Brockton AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New Brockton AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select 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 Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater New Brockton AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree 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 New Brockton AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the New Brockton Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech School New Brockton AL
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Night School. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in New Brockton AL.