How to Enroll In a Welder Technical School near Rutledge Alabama
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Rutledge AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Rutledge AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Rutledge AL employers not only demand 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 based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Rutledge AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Rutledge AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of 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 after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Rutledge AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Rutledge AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities 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 not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Rutledge AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Rutledge AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rutledge AL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Rutledge AL?
Perhaps you live in the Rutledge 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.
Rutledge is located at the geographic center of Crenshaw County at 31°43′59″N 86°18′35″W / 31.73306°N 86.30972°W / 31.73306; -86.30972 (31.733103, -86.309619). The city of Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, lies along Rutledge's eastern border.
Rutledge began as Barber's Crossroads. It was originally settled by Jared Phelps Barber. The town was briefly named Crenshaw, but on June 10, 1867, it was changed to Rutledge in honor of Captain Henry Rutledge, Company H. 59th Alabama Infantry, CSA. Rutledge was the first county seat of Crenshaw County and held that position from March 1867 to May 1893. It was incorporated in 1871.
As of the census of 2000, there were 476 people, 201 households, and 127 families residing in the town. The population density was 143.4 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 264 housing units at an average density of 79.5 per square mile (30.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.01% White, 28.36% Black or African American, and 0.63% from two or more races.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Rutledge AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Rutledge AL
Selecting the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few 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 right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Rutledge AL.