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Points to Ask Welding Trade Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Leeds AL area. That's why it's important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder tech 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 an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Leeds AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Leeds AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It's essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Leeds AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over 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 on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Leeds AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Leeds 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 particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Leeds AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.