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As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Homewood AL area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Homewood 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 also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. 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 assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Homewood AL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It's important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Homewood AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Homewood AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Homewood AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region 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 be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homewood AL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

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