How to Enroll In a Welding Training Class near Gordo Alabama
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Gordo AL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Programs
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Gordo AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Gordo AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Tech School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Gordo AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Gordo AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Gordo AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who joined 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 additionally that it has the network of Gordo AL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Gordo AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Gordo AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate 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 subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gordo AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Gordo AL?
Perhaps you live in the Gordo 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.
Gordo is a town in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,750, up from 1,677 in 2000. It was the second largest town in Pickens County as of 2010, taking the title from Reform, which it previously held in 1960 and 1970. The town incorporated in 1900.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,750 people residing in the town. 58.9% were White, 37.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,677 people, 728 households, and 474 families residing in the town. The population density was 527.1 people per square mile (203.6/km²). There were 810 housing units at an average density of 254.6 per square mile (98.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.91% White, 40.31% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 0.30% from two or more races. 1.25% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Gordo AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Vocational School Gordo AL
Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Gordo AL.