How to Pick the Right Welder Certificate Program near Lafayette Alabama
Locating the ideal welding trade school near Lafayette AL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Classes
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Lafayette AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lafayette AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some 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 various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds 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 local area and verify that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Lafayette AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lafayette AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various 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 relationships within the Lafayette AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Lafayette AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Lafayette AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Lafayette AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and ask 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 employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lafayette AL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lafayette AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire 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 careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Lafayette AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lafayette Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
LaFayette (/ləˈfeɪ.ɛt, -ˈfaɪ-/ lə-F(A)Y-et, /ˈlʌfeɪ.ɛt/ LUF-ay-et) is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.
Chambers County was formed in 1832. The newly elected county officials opted to locate the county seat as near as possible to the center of the county. Lots for the new town were auctioned in October 1833, with proceeds from the sale financing the construction of a courthouse and jail. The town was first called "Chambersville", but by the time of incorporation on January 7, 1835, the town name had been changed to "Lafayette", named after the Marquis de Lafayette; its spelling was changed to "LaFayette" due to the influence of newspaper editor Johnson J. Hooper, who created a fictional character called Captain Simon Suggs, a backwoods southerner who pronounced the town's name as "La Fait". The city's newspaper, The LaFayette Sun, was founded under the name The Alabama Standard in April 1841 and adopted its current name on August 3, 1881.
LaFayette is the birthplace of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue, executed by sculptor Casey Downing Jr. of Mobile, Alabama, was erected in Louis' honor in front of the Chambers County courthouse. It is also the hometown of Hoyt L. Sherman, one of artist Roy Lichtenstein's principal art professor/mentors at Ohio State University.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School Lafayette AL
Choosing the ideal welder school will undoubtedly 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 Underwater Welding Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lafayette AL.