How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certification Class near Childersburg Alabama
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Childersburg AL is an essential first step to starting 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 narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Childersburg AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Childersburg AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Childersburg AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many 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 considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Childersburg AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Childersburg AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Childersburg AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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. If not, ask a local Childersburg AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Childersburg AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Childersburg AL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose 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 responsibilities.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Childersburg AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Childersburg AL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Childersburg Alabama area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Childersburg is a city in Talladega County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated in 1889. At the 2010 census the population was 5,175. It claims a history dating back before 1540, when it was noted as a village of the Coosa Nation visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, important during World War II, was located 4 miles (6 km) north of Childersburg.
Successive indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, people identified as part of the Kymulga-phase culture (of the larger Mississippian culture) lived at Talisi, the former site of Childersburg. In the fall of 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about one month during its exploration of the Southeast. Childersburg calls itself "The Oldest City in America". The Abihka people (part of those who became known as the Muskogee or Creek) dominated the area by the 18th century.
The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, a munitions plant, was established in Childersburg in 1941 and operated throughout World War II until August 1945. Operated by DuPont, the plant produced explosives, such as nitrocellulose, trinitrotoluene (TNT), and dinitrotoluene (DNT). The plant also secretly produced heavy water to support the Manhattan Project. In 1940 the town had about five hundred people. Over fourteen thousand workers came to build and later operate the new facility.
Pick the Right Welding Technical School Childersburg AL
Selecting the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every 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 vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Childersburg AL.