How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Hayden Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Hayden AL is an essential first step to starting 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Hayden AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Hayden AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Hayden AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hayden AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Hayden AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hayden AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Hayden AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Hayden AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hayden AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Hayden AL?
Perhaps you live in the Hayden 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.
Alma Levant Hayden
Alma Levant Hayden (March 30, 1927 – August 2, 1967) was an American chemist, and one of the first African-American women to gain a scientist position at a science agency in Washington, D.C. She joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 1950s. Hayden graduated from Howard University with a master's degree in chemistry, and became an expert in spectrophotometry, the measurement of how substances absorb light. She published work on infrared and other techniques for analyzing chemicals in a range of journals. Hayden was appointed Chief of the Spectrophotometer Research Branch in the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1963, and may have been the first African-American scientist at the FDA. Hayden came to national attention in 1963 when she led the team that exposed the common substance in Krebiozen, a long-controversial alternative and expensive drug promoted as anti-cancer. Hayden was married to fellow research chemist Alonzo Hayden, and had two children. She died in 1967.
Alma Levant was born in Greenville, South Carolina on March 30, 1927 and graduated with honors in 1947 from South Carolina State College, a historically black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Originally planning to be a nurse, she found herself so interested in chemistry that she "just didn't want to part from it". She gained a master's degree in chemistry from Howard University.
Hayden joined the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases at the NIH. The above photograph was taken there in 1952, showing her working with a technique called paper chromatography, spraying reagent on liquids dropped onto paper to detect precursors to steroids.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hayden AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis 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. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across 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.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Hayden AL
Selecting the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hayden AL.