How to Choose a Welder Certification Class near Camden Alabama
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Camden AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise 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 Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Camden AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop 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 2 years to complete 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Camden AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few 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 specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally 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 similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Technical School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Camden AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick 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 make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Camden AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Camden AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Camden AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Camden AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Camden AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Camden AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Camden AL?
Perhaps you live in the Camden 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.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Camden AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical 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 done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Camden AL
Picking the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Camden AL.