How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Daleville Alabama
Enrolling in the right welding trade school near Daleville AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many 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? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welding technical 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 establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Daleville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Daleville AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities 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 an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Daleville AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people look at 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 choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Daleville AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Daleville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Daleville AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 Daleville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Daleville AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Daleville AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Daleville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Daleville 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.
Daleville is a city in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,295, up from 4,653 in 2000. It is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city's nickname is "Gateway to Fort Rucker", as this U.S. Army post is located just north of town. Cairns Army Airfield is located to the south of Daleville on the road to nearby Clayhatchee.
Daleville, originally known as "Dale's Court House", was founded in 1827 by veterans of the Creek Indian War who had settled in Dale County following that conflict. It was established as the original county seat of Dale County in 1827 but lost that honor when Coffee County split from Dale in 1841, at which time the seat was moved first to Newton, and then later to Ozark in 1870, where it remains today.
Residents of the town formed portions of two regiments of the Confederate States Army during the U.S. Civil War: the 15th Alabama Infantry, famed for charging the 20th Maine on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 33rd Alabama Infantry. In the latter regiment, Company "G", called the "Daleville Blues", was recruited entirely from Daleville. Several men from this company were killed in a freak train derailment on November 4, 1862 near Cleveland, Tennessee; the remainder would fight with the rest of the 33rd in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender in 1865.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Daleville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, 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 better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech Program Daleville AL
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Daleville AL.