How to Find the Right Welder Certification Course near Hartselle Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Hartselle AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welding technical 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 wise to develop 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Hartselle AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Hartselle AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Hartselle AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single 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). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Hartselle 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Hartselle AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Hartselle AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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. If not, ask a local Hartselle AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Hartselle AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hartselle AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hartselle AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hartselle AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hartselle Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.
Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).
Select the Right Welding Trade Program Hartselle AL
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn TIG Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hartselle AL.