How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Scottsboro Alabama
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Scottsboro AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Scottsboro AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes 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 requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Scottsboro AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means 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 confirm that the welding tech school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Scottsboro AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Scottsboro AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Scottsboro AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Scottsboro AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Scottsboro AL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Scottsboro AL home. If you do opt 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 welder 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Scottsboro AL?
Perhaps you live in the Scottsboro 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.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Scottsboro AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner 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. 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Scottsboro AL
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Scottsboro AL.