How to Select the Right Welder Training Class near Geneva Alabama
Locating the ideal welder school near Geneva AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Geneva AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Geneva AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
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 are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Geneva AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like 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 may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Geneva AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These 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 develop associations within the Geneva AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Geneva AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Geneva AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Geneva AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask 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 see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Geneva AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Geneva AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious 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 Geneva AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Geneva Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Geneva County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1875. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1940, it has been the largest city of Geneva County, and had a population of 4,452 as of the 2010 census.
In late December 1862, the stern-wheel steamship Bloomer was in port on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva. She was captured by a group of Union troops from the 91st New York Volunteers led by Lieutenant James H. Stewart. The Bloomer was then taken to Pensacola, Florida.
Geneva is located south of the center of Geneva County at 31°2′17″N 85°52′36″W / 31.03806°N 85.87667°W / 31.03806; -85.87667 (31.038181, -85.876677), at the confluence of the Pea River with the Choctawhatchee River. Alabama State Route 52 passes through the city north of downtown, leading northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Hartford and northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Samson. Dothan is 34 miles (55 km) to the northeast via Route 52. Alabama State Route 27 passes through the center of Geneva, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Enterprise and southwest 5 miles (8 km) to the Florida border.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Geneva AL
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Associates Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Geneva AL.