How to Select a Welder Certification Class near Tallassee Alabama
Selecting the right welding technical school near Tallassee AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick 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? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to develop 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Tallassee AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding 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.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Tallassee AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Vocational Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Tallassee AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Tallassee AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Tallassee AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tallassee AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect 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 similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Tallassee AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Tallassee AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tallassee AL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose 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 emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tallassee AL?
Perhaps you live in the Tallassee 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.
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Tallassee AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Tallassee AL
Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. 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 each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Tallassee AL.