How to Choose the Right Welding Training Program near Robertsdale Alabama
Choosing the ideal welding school near Robertsdale 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 determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welder technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Robertsdale AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Robertsdale AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Robertsdale AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Robertsdale AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help 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 establish relationships within the Robertsdale AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Robertsdale AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Robertsdale AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Robertsdale AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might 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 a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. 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 reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Robertsdale AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Robertsdale AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, 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 done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Robertsdale AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Robertsdale Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Robertsdale is located in southern Baldwin County at 30°33'16.034" North, 87°42'20.038" West (30.554454, -87.705566).U.S. Route 90 (Old Spanish Trail) passes through the city, leading west 24 miles (39 km) to Mobile and east 35 miles (56 km) to Pensacola, Florida.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,276 people, 1,951 households, and 1,392 families residing in the city. The population density was 968 people per square mile (373.6/km²). There were 1,573 housing units at an average density of 357.3 per square mile (137.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% White, 5.4% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 6.1% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. 9.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,951 households out of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.4% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.7% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.10.
Find the Ideal Welding Trade Program Robertsdale AL
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Training Course. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Robertsdale AL.