How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Deatsville Alabama
Choosing the right welder technical school near Deatsville AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Deatsville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Deatsville AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove 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 make sure that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Deatsville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Deatsville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Deatsville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Deatsville AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three options, 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 up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Deatsville AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Deatsville AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Deatsville AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Deatsville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Deatsville 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.
Deatsville is a town in Elmore County, Alabama, United States. Although Deatsville initially incorporated in 1903, it lapsed at some point after the 1910 U.S. Census and did not appear again as incorporated until 2000. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,154, up from 340 in 2000. Holtville High School is located near Deatsville.
Deatsville is located in western Elmore County at 32°35′38″N 86°23′36″W / 32.59389°N 86.39333°W / 32.59389; -86.39333 (32.593958, -86.393454). It is bordered to the west by Autauga County and to the south by the city of Millbrook.
Alabama State Route 143 passes through the center of Deatsville, leading northwest 22 miles (35 km) to Clanton and southeast 8 miles (13 km) to Elmore. Montgomery, the state capital, is 23 miles (37 km) to the south.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Deatsville AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade School Deatsville AL
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve 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 faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Deatsville AL.