How to Select the Right Welding Certification Program near Eufaula Alabama
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Eufaula AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish 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 Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Eufaula AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 two 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Eufaula AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various 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, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Eufaula AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Eufaula AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree 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 assistance program. These schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Eufaula AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Eufaula AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Eufaula AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Eufaula AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eufaula AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Eufaula AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Eufaula AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Eufaula Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The site along the Chattahoochee River that is now modern-day Eufaula was occupied by three Creek tribes, including the Eufaulas.:3 By the 1820s the land was part of the Creek Indian Territory and supposedly off-limits to white settlement.:4 By 1827 enough illegal white settlement had occurred that the Creeks appealed to the federal government for protection of their property rights. In July of that year, federal troops were sent to the Eufaula area to remove the settlers by force of arms, a conflict known as the "Intruders War".:4
The Creeks signed the Treaty of Washington in 1826, ceding most of their land in Georgia and eastern Alabama to the United States, but it was not fully effective in practice until the late 1820s. The 1832 Treaty of Cusseta, by which the Creeks ceded all land east of the Mississippi River to the United States, allowed white settlers to legally buy land from the Creek. However, the treaty's terms did not require any natives to relocate. By 1835 the land on which the town was built had been mostly purchased by white settlers, and had a store, owned in part by William Irwin, after whom the new settlement was named "Irwinton".:5
Significant numbers of Jewish settlers came to Eufaula in the middle of the nineteenth century from Germany and from neighboring states. The community founded a cemetery; the first burial took place in 1845.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Eufaula AL
Choosing the best welder training program will probably 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 TIG Welding Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Eufaula AL.