How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Eastaboga Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welding school near Eastaboga AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder technical 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Eastaboga AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Eastaboga AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just 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
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Eastaboga AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Eastaboga AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some 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 assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Eastaboga AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Eastaboga AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Eastaboga AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Eastaboga AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Eastaboga AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Eastaboga AL?
Perhaps you live in the Eastaboga 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.
Eastaboga is an Unincorporated community on the border of Talladega and Calhoun counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was previously called McFall, named for a settling family in the 1850s, and incorporated in 1898, only to be disincorporated in 1901. The original community of Eastaboga was to the south and became known as Old Eastaboga after McFall's name was changed to Eastaboga.
The present unincorporated community of Eastaboga was listed as the incorporated town of McFall on the 1900 census, and had 820 residents. Of that, a majority, 482, lived on the Talladega County side, and 338 lived on the Calhoun County side. It was disincorporated after just 3 years in 1901 and the post office closed under that name in 1906. At some point on, it was renamed Eastaboga (while the nearby community to the south of the same name became "Old Eastaboga").
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Eastaboga AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Technical School Eastaboga AL
Selecting the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Eastaboga AL.