How to Select a Welder Trade School near Tuskegee Alabama
Enrolling in the right welding technical school near Tuskegee AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations 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 prudent to develop 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Tuskegee AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Tuskegee AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Tuskegee AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Tuskegee 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. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various 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. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Tuskegee AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Tuskegee AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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 Tuskegee AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Tuskegee AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure 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 at night or on weekends near Tuskegee AL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tuskegee AL?
Perhaps you live in the Tuskegee 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.
Tuskegee (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been an important site in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated, and its first, founding principal was, Booker T. Washington who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established here, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Tuskegee AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Tuskegee AL
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tuskegee AL.