How to Enroll In a Welder Certification Class near Warrior Alabama
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Warrior AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welder vocational 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Warrior AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Warrior AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Warrior AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Warrior AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Warrior AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Warrior AL employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Warrior AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Warrior AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some 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. Similarly, speak with a couple 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 profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Warrior AL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Warrior AL?
Perhaps you live in the Warrior 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.
Warriors seem to have been present in the earliest pre-state societies. Along with hunting, war was considered to be a definitive male activity. No matter the pretext for combat, it seemed to have been a rite of passage for a boy to become a man. Warriors took upon costumes and equipment that seemed to have a symbolic significance; combat itself would be preceded by ritual or sacrifice. Men of fighting age often lived apart in order to encourage bonding, and would ritualise combat in order to demonstrate individual prowess among one another.  Most of the basic weapons used by warriors appeared before the rise of most hierarchical systems. Bows and arrows, clubs, spears, and other edged weapons were in widespread use. However with the new findings of metallurgy, the aforementioned weapons had grown in effectiveness. 
When the first hierarchical systems evolved 5000 years ago, the gap between the rulers and the ruled had increased. Making war to extend the outreach of their territories, rulers often forced men from lower orders of society into the military role. This had been the first use of professional soldiers —a distinct difference from the warrior communities.
The warrior ethic in many societies later became the preserve of the ruling class. Egyptian pharaohs would depict themselves in war chariots, shooting at enemies, or smashing others with clubs. Fighting was considered a prestigious activity, but only when associated with status and power. European mounted knights would often feel contempt for the foot soldiers recruited from lower classes. In Mesoamerican societies of pre-Columbian America, the elite aristocratic soldiers remained separated from the lower classes of stone-throwers. 
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Warrior AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational School Warrior AL
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way 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. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Warrior AL.