How to Pick a Welding Certification Program near Clio Alabama
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Clio AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important 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 initiating 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 delve into 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 available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Clio AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Clio AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly 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 way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Clio AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program 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 might want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Clio AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Clio 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 crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Clio AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities 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 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 Clio AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Clio AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could 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 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. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade 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 attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clio AL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Clio AL?
Perhaps you live in the Clio 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.
Clio is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. The population was 1,399 at the 2010 census, down from 2,206 in 2000, at which time it was a town. It is the birthplace of former Alabama governor George C. Wallace, as well as Baseball Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,399 people, 514 households, and 321 families residing in the town. The population density was 139 people per square mile (53.7/km2). There were 634 housing units at an average density of 62.7 per square mile (24.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 36.5% Black or African American, 32.0% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 30.2% from other races, and .4% from two or more races. 36.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 514 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.4% were married couples living together, 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.37.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Clio AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade School Clio AL
Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Clio AL.