How to Select a Welding Trade School near Axis Alabama
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Axis AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish 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 Training Programs
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Axis AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Axis AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Vocational School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Axis AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Axis AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Axis AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Axis AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate 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 using 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 Axis AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Axis AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving 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 an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Axis AL, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Axis AL?
Perhaps you live in the Axis 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.
The Axis powers (German: Achsenmächte; Italian: Potenze dell'Asse; Japanese: 枢軸国 Sūjikukoku), also known as "Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis" (also acronymized as "Roberto"), were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allies. The Axis powers agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity.
The Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany, Italy, and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936. Benito Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from then on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term "Axis". The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, an anti-communist treaty between Germany and Japan. Italy joined the Pact in 1937. The "Rome–Berlin Axis" became a military alliance in 1939 under the so-called "Pact of Steel", with the Tripartite Pact of 1940 leading to the integration of the military aims of Germany, Italy and Japan.
At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied large parts of Europe, North Africa, and East Asia. There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, with slightly more between Germany and Italy. The war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of their alliance. As in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, with some nations switching sides or changing their degree of military involvement over the course of the war.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Axis AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps 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 environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Axis AL
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Axis AL.