How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near New Market Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near New Market AL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the New Market AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach 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 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 requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous New Market AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things 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 kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different 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 verify that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the New Market AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in New Market AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the New Market AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify 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 a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of New Market AL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 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. If not, ask a local New Market AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your New Market AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near New Market AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near New Market AL?
Perhaps you live in the New Market 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.
New Market, Alabama
New Market is a census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP is 1,597. Although it was the first area settled in Madison County, the town has never been incorporated.
In the early 19th century, several persons from Tennessee explored the area just across the border in what eventually became Madison County in Alabama. Isaac and Joseph Criner also explored the area and, in 1804, settled in the northern part near what is now called Mountain Fork of the Flint River. George Smith, landowner of town site, built first log house and established a mercantile business in 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill in 1819. Later settlers gave the name New Market to the community.
Four sites in New Market are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the New Market Historic District, New Market Presbyterian Church, New Market United Methodist Church, and the Whitman-Cobb House.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater New Market AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned 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 cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational Program New Market AL
Selecting the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in New Market AL.