How to Enroll In a Welder Certification Class near Boaz Alabama
Locating the ideal welding school near Boaz AL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welder 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 create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Boaz AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop 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 two years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Boaz AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number 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, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Boaz AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at 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 looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Boaz AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help 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 refer 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 develop associations within the Boaz AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Boaz AL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect 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 similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Boaz AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Boaz AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Boaz AL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Boaz AL?
Perhaps you live in the Boaz 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.
Boaz is a city in Marshall and Etowah counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 9,551. Boaz is known for its outlet shops.
First settled in the 1850s, the town of Boaz was officially founded November 11, 1878 by the Sparks Family of Georgia. A post office has been in operation since 1887. The city was named after Boaz, from the Bible. It was incorporated in 1897.
The Julia Street Memorial United Methodist Church, Snead Junior College Historic District, the Thomas A. Snellgrove Homestead, and the Edward Fenns Whitman House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage lists the Boaz Elementary School, the First Baptist Church and Cemetery, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Boaz AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to 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 knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Boaz AL
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Boaz AL.