Home >> Alabama >> Phenix City >> Schools For Welders


Receive Free Info on Welding Classes Near You Phenix City AL 36867

How to Select the Best Welding Degree Program near Phenix City Alabama

Phenix City Alabama construction welder at work siteLocating the ideal welder school near Phenix City AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it's prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let's talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

Phenix City Alabama welder welding in metal shop

There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Phenix City AL area.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides 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 make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Phenix City Alabama welder welding metal frame

There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Phenix City AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with various kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.

Topics to Ask Welding Tech Programs

Phenix City Alabama welder welding electrical beam

As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Phenix City AL area. That's why it's important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Phenix City AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree 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. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Phenix City 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 crucial that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate 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 a good indicator 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 also that it has the network of Phenix City AL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Phenix City AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Phenix City AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 ultimately will want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It's possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers 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 employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Phenix City Welding Courses

Find the Right Phenix City Welding Course for Certification

Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It's a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Phenix City AL.

 

Phenix City Welding Courses | Main | Phenix City Welding Schools