How to Find the Right Welding Training Course near Alexandria Alabama
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Alexandria AL is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Alexandria AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Alexandria AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Programs
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Alexandria AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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 an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Alexandria AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Alexandria AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Alexandria AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Alexandria AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Alexandria AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Alexandria AL, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on 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.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Alexandria AL?
Perhaps you live in the Alexandria Alabama area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/;Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Coptic: ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ Alexandria or ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakote) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great,king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Alexandria AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School Alexandria AL
Selecting the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Alexandria AL.