How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Class near Abbeville Alabama
Finding the right welding vocational school near Abbeville AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive 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 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. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Abbeville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Abbeville AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Abbeville AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 superior education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Abbeville AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Abbeville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Abbeville AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Abbeville AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Abbeville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from 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 subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some 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 evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Abbeville AL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Abbeville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, 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. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Abbeville AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Abbeville Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Abbeville AL
Selecting the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach 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 some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Abbeville AL.