How to Pick the Right Welder Trade School near Enterprise Alabama
Finding the right welding school near Enterprise AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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 Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Enterprise AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach 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 2 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 diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Enterprise AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few 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 specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Enterprise AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as 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 recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Enterprise AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Enterprise AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Enterprise AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited 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 facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Enterprise AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Enterprise AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Enterprise AL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Enterprise AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Enterprise AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Enterprise Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Choose the Right Welding Tech School Enterprise AL
Choosing the right welder training program will probably 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 Associates Degree In Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Enterprise AL.