How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Lincoln Alabama
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Lincoln AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people 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 cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Lincoln AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Lincoln AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Lincoln AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Lincoln AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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 welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Lincoln AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in 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 high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Lincoln AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Lincoln AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Lincoln AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lincoln AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lincoln AL?
Perhaps you live in the Lincoln 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.
Albert Lincoln Roker Jr. (born August 20, 1954) is an American weather forecaster, journalist, television personality, actor, and author. He is the current weather anchor on NBC's Today. Roker also appears occasionally as a co-anchor on NBC Nightly News. He has an inactive American Meteorological Society Television Seal #238.
On November 12, 2014 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker attempted to beat the unofficial world record for an uninterrupted live weather report of 33 hours held by Norwegian weather broadcaster Eli Kari Gjengedal. On November 14, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker set the Guinness World Record by reporting for 34 hours.
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, the son of Isabel, of Jamaican descent, and Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., a bus driver of Bahamian descent. Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. He was raised Catholic (in the faith of his mother) and graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan. He worked on several projects as a member of the school's Cartooning & Illustration Club. He attended the State University of New York at Oswego where he received a B.A. in communications in 1976.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lincoln AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Lincoln AL
Choosing the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lincoln AL.