How to Select the Right Welder Certification Classes near Daleville Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder school near Daleville AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Daleville AL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded 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 prerequisites for welders, therefore don't forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Daleville AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder's ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Daleville AL area. That's why it's essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Daleville AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Daleville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Daleville AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, 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 up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure 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 Daleville AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Daleville AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Daleville AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Find the Right Daleville Welding Training for Certification
Choosing the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It's a must that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Daleville AL.