How to Select the Right Welder Certification Course near Tallassee Alabama
Locating the right welder technical school near Tallassee AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Tallassee AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore 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 pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Tallassee AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Technical Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Tallassee AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Tallassee 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Tallassee AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Tallassee AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection 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 trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Tallassee AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Tallassee AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Tallassee AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Tallassee AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. However, 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 accomplished 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 possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Tallassee AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Tallassee Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Tallassee AL
Selecting the right welder school will probably 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 Intensive Welding Course. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Tallassee AL.