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As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Rainbow City AL area. That's why it's important to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most 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 need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It's extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Rainbow City AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Rainbow City AL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It's essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Rainbow City AL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over 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 similar 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 Rainbow City AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Rainbow City AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school's local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rainbow City AL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

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