How to Pick a Welding Certification Course near Newville Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near Newville AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 select the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine 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 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Newville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Newville AL employers not only demand 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 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 specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Newville AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Newville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These 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 larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Newville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Newville AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Newville AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Newville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Newville AL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Newville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Newville 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.
James Madison Wells founded a village called "Wells" c. 1882. When the Abbeville Southern Railroad laid tracks through the town in 1893, its name was changed to "Wells Station". The post office was built in 1894. Wells Station incorporated as "Newville" in 1903.
The town of Newville became prosperous with merchants, banks, lodges, doctors, churches, Newville High School, Rosenwald High School, societies, a newspaper, a depot, sawmills, cotton gins, mule stables and all the elements required by a developing town. Newville's slow decline commenced after the Great Depression due to farm mechanization and loss of commerce.
James M. and Catherine Wells donated one-half acre of land in 1887 for the site of the church and cemetery. The oldest known grave is that of William Y. Kirkland who died April 10, 1891. The church paid W.M. Harris fifty dollars in 1901 for two and one-half acres of land for the cemetery. In 1947, burial spaces were sold for 25 center per square foot. Nancy Price gave the church one acre of land for the cemetery in 1958. There are over 700 marked and unmarked graves. The Newville Cemetery was listed on the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register in 2005.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Newville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Ideal Welding Technical School Newville AL
Choosing the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor 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 Newville AL.