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What to Ask Welding Technical Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Daleville AL area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive 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 certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Daleville AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Daleville 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 pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Daleville AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out 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. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. 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 Daleville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Daleville AL home. If you do decide 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 especially the case for welder degree 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Daleville AL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify 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, sickness or family emergencies.