How to Find the Right Welding Certification Course near Cottondale Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Cottondale AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose 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? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Cottondale AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Cottondale AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind 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 specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various 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, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Cottondale AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example 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 obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Cottondale AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided 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 reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Cottondale 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 essential 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 instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Cottondale AL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Cottondale AL welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Cottondale AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Cottondale AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend 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 should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Cottondale AL?
Perhaps you live in the Cottondale Alabama area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Richard Price Rummonds
Richard Price Rummonds (also known as Richard-Gabriel Price Rummonds), one of the foremost handpress printers of the late twentieth century, is also an author, publisher, typographer, and historian of printing. His two books on nineteenth-century printing, Printing on the Iron Handpress and Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, comprehensively describe the history, operation and merits of the iron handpress.
Born on April 26, 1931, in Long Beach, California, Rummonds was raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Syracuse University in 1949–1950, in the School of Fine Arts, with the intention of majoring in set and costume design and the University of California at Berkeley intermittently between 1950 and 1954, where he majored in English and Creative Writing. During this period he was on the staff of Occident, the student literary magazine, of which he became the editor for the Spring 1954 issue.
Rummonds began printing in Quito, Ecuador in 1966, using the Plain Wrapper Press imprint. His first book was a selection of his own poems. The following year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he printed a book of his short stories.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Cottondale AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Cottondale AL
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Cottondale AL.