How to Pick a Welder Training Program near Bankston Alabama
Choosing the right welding technical school near Bankston AL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Courses
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Bankston AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Bankston AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few 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 specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Bankston AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Bankston AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Bankston AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Bankston AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over 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 working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Bankston AL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance 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 select needs to be within commuting distance of your Bankston AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bankston AL, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Bankston AL?
Perhaps you live in the Bankston 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.
Jesse Homer Bankston Sr. (October 7, 1907 – November 25, 2010) was a politician within the Democratic Party of Louisiana, a businessman, and, at his death at the age of 103, a member of the board of Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Bankston became involved in a dispute in 1959 with Governor Earl Kemp Long which led to Bankston's dismissal as the director of the State Department of Hospitals. Long's estranged wife, Blanche Revere Long, had committed him to the Southeast Louisiana (Mental) Hospital in Mandeville.
Long ordered Bankston, an otherwise loyal supporter, to discharge him, but Bankston refused because he believed that Long needed treatment; his recent behavior had been erratic. With the affirmation of Lieutenant Governor Lether Frazar, Attorney General Jack P.F. Gremillion, and the Senate President Pro Tempore, Long fired Bankston and replaced him with a pliable supporter, who immediately took steps to release the governor from the hospital. During this confrontation, Bankston was also at odds with his political ally, State Senator Sixty Rayburn of Bogalusa in Washington Parish, who remained steadfast to Long.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Bankston AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need 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 possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Ideal Welding Technical Program Bankston AL
Selecting the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Bankston AL.