Home >> Alabama >> Sylacauga >> Schools For Welders


Receive Free Information on Welding Classes In Your Area Sylacauga AL 35014

How to Select the Right Welder Certificate Program near Sylacauga Alabama

Sylacauga Alabama construction welder on the jobEnrolling in the right welder vocational school near Sylacauga AL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it's wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let's cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes

Sylacauga Alabama welder working in metal shop

There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Sylacauga AL area.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Sylacauga Alabama welder welding metal table

There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Sylacauga AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.

What to Ask Welder Technical Schools

Sylacauga Alabama electrician welding metal electrical pole

After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Sylacauga AL area. That's why it's necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It's essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Sylacauga AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Sylacauga AL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It's crucial that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Sylacauga AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Sylacauga 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 few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Sylacauga AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school's regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It's easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Find out More About Sylacauga Welding Training

Find the Right Sylacauga Welding Training for Certification

Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It's a necessity that any welding training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Sylacauga AL.

 

Sylacauga Welding Courses | Main | Sylacauga Welding Schools