How to Select a Welding Training Program near Eight Mile Alabama
Locating the right welder technical school near Eight Mile AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding vocational 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 develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Eight Mile AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Eight Mile AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Trade School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Eight Mile AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types 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 example 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 recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Eight Mile AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided 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 assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Eight Mile AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Eight Mile AL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Eight Mile AL welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Eight Mile AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked 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 a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eight Mile AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Eight Mile AL?
Perhaps you live in the Eight Mile 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.
Eight Miles High
"Eight Miles High" is a song by the American rock band the Byrds, written by Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn (a.k.a. Roger McGuinn), and David Crosby and first released as a single on March 14, 1966 (see 1966 in music). Musically influenced by Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane, "Eight Miles High", along with its McGuinn and Crosby-penned B-side "Why", was influential in developing the musical styles of psychedelic rock, raga rock, and psychedelic pop. Accordingly, critics often cite "Eight Miles High" as being the first bona fide psychedelic rock song, as well as a classic of the counterculture era.
The song was subject to a U.S. radio ban shortly after its release, following allegations published in the broadcasting trade journal the Gavin Report regarding perceived drug connotations in its lyrics. The band strenuously denied these allegations at the time, but in later years both Clark and Crosby admitted that the song was at least partly inspired by their own drug use. The failure of "Eight Miles High" to reach the Billboard Top 10 is usually attributed to the broadcasting ban, but some commentators have suggested that the song's complexity and uncommercial nature were greater factors.
"Eight Miles High" reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 24 in the UK Singles Chart. The song was also included on the band's third album, Fifth Dimension, which was released on July 18, 1966. "Eight Miles High" became the Byrds' third and final U.S. Top 20 hit, and was also their last release before the departure of Gene Clark, the band's principal songwriter at the time.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Eight Mile AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Eight Mile AL
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer 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 duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Eight Mile AL.