How to Select a Welder Training Program near Newton 36352
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Newton AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of welding schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school in the Newton area. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in Alabama.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for Newton or your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Alabama.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Newton area employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Newton employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, 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 in your Newton home. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge 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.
How to Pick a Welder Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Newton area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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 organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for schools that are not accredited in the 36352 area. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment in the Newton area and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment in the Newton area upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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. If not, ask a local Newton welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Newton 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 true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been in Alabama and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Newton, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Newton ALPicking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It's a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder.