How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Selecting the right welding technical school near Hatchechubbee AL is an essential first step to beginning 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Hatchechubbee AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop 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 complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Hatchechubbee AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Hatchechubbee AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Hatchechubbee 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 Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Hatchechubbee AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Hatchechubbee AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Hatchechubbee AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Hatchechubbee AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides 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 an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the teachers 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 profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hatchechubbee AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Hatchechubbee AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until 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 better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hatchechubbee AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hatchechubbee Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Hatchechubbee AL
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder Certification Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hatchechubbee AL.