Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Alabama.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Alabama employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things 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
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.