How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Daleville Alabama
Finding the right welding trade school near Daleville AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified 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 welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Daleville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Daleville AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Daleville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important 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 must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types 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 make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Daleville AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships 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 help students find employment and develop relationships within the Daleville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Daleville AL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, 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. Otherwise, ask a local Daleville AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Daleville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Daleville AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Daleville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Daleville 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.
Daleville is a city in Dale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 5,295, up from 4,653 in 2000. It is part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area. The city's nickname is "Gateway to Fort Rucker", as this U.S. Army post is located just north of town. Cairns Army Airfield is located to the south of Daleville on the road to nearby Clayhatchee.
Daleville, originally known as "Dale's Court House", was founded in 1827 by veterans of the Creek Indian War who had settled in Dale County following that conflict. It was established as the original county seat of Dale County in 1827 but lost that honor when Coffee County split from Dale in 1841, at which time the seat was moved first to Newton, and then later to Ozark in 1870, where it remains today.
Residents of the town formed portions of two regiments of the Confederate States Army during the U.S. Civil War: the 15th Alabama Infantry, famed for charging the 20th Maine on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg, and the 33rd Alabama Infantry. In the latter regiment, Company "G", called the "Daleville Blues", was recruited entirely from Daleville. Several men from this company were killed in a freak train derailment on November 4, 1862 near Cleveland, Tennessee; the remainder would fight with the rest of the 33rd in the Confederate Army of Tennessee until the final surrender in 1865.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Daleville AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Right Welding Tech School Daleville AL
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration 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. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Daleville AL.