How to Enroll In a Welding Technical School near Brewton Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Brewton AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options available 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Brewton AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Brewton AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states 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 experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Brewton AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. 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, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Brewton AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Brewton AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Brewton AL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Brewton AL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Brewton AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Brewton AL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Brewton AL?
Perhaps you live in the Brewton 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.
Brewton is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 5,408. The city is the county seat of Escambia County. Brewton is located in south central Alabama, just north of the Florida Panhandle.
In May 1861, the city of Brewton began as a train station under Edmund Troupe Bruton. The settlement was originally known as Newport when barges made runs to and from Pensacola, Florida on Murder Creek and Burnt Corn Creek before the installation of rail.
During the Civil War rail lines were severed, and small lumber mills were damaged or destroyed. However, after the war those who returned or arrived rebuilt the Brewton economy, began a school, and established small businesses. Into the 1870s a new European demand for lumber stimulated the founding of numerous timber and lumber operations. The Conecuh-Escambia river system became a timber artery to the Gulf.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Brewton AL area that may count 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 education and training. Nevertheless, 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 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 knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Technical School Brewton AL
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Brewton AL.