How to Choose the Right Welding Certification Program near Evergreen Alabama
Locating the right welder school near Evergreen AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Evergreen AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations 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 welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Evergreen AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Evergreen AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Evergreen AL for schools that are not accredited. 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. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Evergreen AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Evergreen AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Evergreen AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Evergreen AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Evergreen AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Evergreen AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Evergreen AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Evergreen Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Evergreen, Conecuh County, Alabama
Early settlers to the area came from Georgia and South Carolina beginning in 1818. Evergreen was founded officially in 1819 when Revolutionary War veteran James Cosey and several other men settled within the present limits of the city. The Reverend Alexander Travis first called the town by its present name of Evergreen for the abundance of surrounding green foliage, plants, and ferns.
The former county seat of Sparta was burned in a federal raid during the Civil War. In 1866, the county seat was moved to Evergreen as it was more centrally located in the county. Evergreen was incorporated as a city on March 28, 1873.
In 1882, a tornado hit the city, destroying every building except for the Episcopal church. On November 7, 1895, fire destroyed every business and house located on the east side of the railroad. Five days later, fire destroyed every business and house on the west side. The Conecuh County Courthouse burned in 1868, 1875, 1885, and 1895.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Evergreen AL
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Courses Online. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Evergreen AL.