How to Find the Right Welding Certification Class near New Brockton Alabama
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near New Brockton AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the New Brockton AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many New Brockton AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many 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 location and make sure that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Trade School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the New Brockton AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, 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 recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in New Brockton AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the New Brockton AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of New Brockton AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect 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 using in the field. If you are unsure 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 New Brockton AL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your New Brockton AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving 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. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near New Brockton AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near New Brockton AL?
Perhaps you live in the New Brockton 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.
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater New Brockton AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational Program New Brockton AL
Selecting the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in New Brockton AL.