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When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Atmore AL area. That's why it's necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most 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 must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It's essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 example Welding Technology. So make certain 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Atmore AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Atmore AL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Atmore AL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Atmore AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Atmore AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in larger 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 attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atmore AL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

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