How to Choose the Right Welder Technical School near New Market Alabama
Choosing the right welding trade school near New Market AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welder trade 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the New Market AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many New Market AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the New Market AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, 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 following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in New Market AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered 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 considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the New Market AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of New Market AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate 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 uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local New Market AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your New Market AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New Market AL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure 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, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater New Market AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in New Market AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the New Market Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
New Market, Alabama
New Market is a 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 CDP is 1,597. Although it was the first area settled in Madison County, the town has never been incorporated.
In the early 19th century, several persons from Tennessee explored the area just across the border in what eventually became Madison County in Alabama. Isaac and Joseph Criner also explored the area and, in 1804, settled in the northern part near what is now called Mountain Fork of the Flint River. George Smith, landowner of town site, built first log house and established a mercantile business in 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill in 1819. Later settlers gave the name New Market to the community.
Four sites in New Market are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the New Market Historic District, New Market Presbyterian Church, New Market United Methodist Church, and the Whitman-Cobb House.
Find the Right Welding Technical School New Market AL
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Underwater Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in New Market AL.