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What to Ask Welding Technical Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Millbrook AL area. That's why it's necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It's very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Millbrook AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Millbrook 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 essential that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Millbrook AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Millbrook AL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Millbrook AL home. If you do choose to attend 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 degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Millbrook AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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 illness, work or family circumstances.