How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Addison Alabama
Selecting the right welding school near Addison AL is an important first step to beginning 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 best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Addison AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Addison AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech Program
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Addison AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Addison AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various 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 placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Addison AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Addison AL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Addison AL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Addison AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from 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. Also, if the school offers 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Addison AL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Addison AL?
Perhaps you live in the Addison 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.
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Addison AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting 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 find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School Addison AL
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Addison AL.