How to Pick the Right Welding Training Program near Hazel Green Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Hazel Green AL is an important 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 know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start 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 expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Hazel Green AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Hazel Green AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Trade Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Hazel Green AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Hazel Green AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Hazel Green AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Hazel Green AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Hazel Green AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Hazel Green AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree 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 a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hazel Green AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hazel Green AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until 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 would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Hazel Green AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hazel Green Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical School Hazel Green AL
Choosing the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Pipe Welding Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Hazel Green AL.