How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near Camden Alabama
Locating the right welder vocational school near Camden AL is an essential first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Camden AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Camden AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Camden AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Camden AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Camden 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 pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Camden AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Camden AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Camden AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Camden AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Camden AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Camden AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Camden Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School Camden AL
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Becoming A Welder. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Camden AL.