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When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Athens AL area. That's why it's necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select 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 evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It's very important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Athens AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Athens AL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It's important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify 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 an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Athens AL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Athens AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Athens AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Athens AL, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.

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