How to Select the Right Welding Training Class near Phenix City Alabama
Finding the ideal welding vocational school near Phenix City AL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to get 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Phenix City AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Phenix City 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 wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Phenix City AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn 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 certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Phenix City AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Phenix City AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high 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 Phenix City AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 Phenix City AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance 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 move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Phenix City AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Phenix City AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Phenix City AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate 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. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Phenix City AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Phenix City Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Phenix City, Alabama
Phenix City lies immediately west across the Chattahoochee River from much larger Columbus, Georgia. Sometimes called Hub City, Most of Phenix City is included in the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area, but a section is located in Lee County, and is therefore in the Auburn, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The entire city is part of the Columbus-Auburn-Opelika Combined Statistical Area.
Phenix City is located at 32°28′22″N 85°1′12″W / 32.47278°N 85.02000°W / 32.47278; -85.02000 (32.472822, -85.020121). It is the easternmost settlement in the state of Alabama as well as the Central Time Zone, but it and some other nearby areas unofficially observe Eastern Time, as these areas are part of the metropolitan area of the considerably larger city of Columbus, Georgia, which is in the Eastern Time Zone.
The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Phenix City has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Phenix City AL
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Maritime Welding Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Phenix City AL.