How to Enroll In a Welding Degree Program near Eufaula Alabama
Selecting the right welding trade school near Eufaula AL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Eufaula AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 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 additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare 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 organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Eufaula AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Eufaula AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many 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 program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Eufaula AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree 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. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place 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 Eufaula AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Eufaula AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Eufaula AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Eufaula AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify 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 in the evenings or on weekends near Eufaula AL, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Eufaula AL?
Perhaps you live in the Eufaula 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.
The site along the Chattahoochee River that is now modern-day Eufaula was occupied by three Creek tribes, including the Eufaulas.:3 By the 1820s the land was part of the Creek Indian Territory and supposedly off-limits to white settlement.:4 By 1827 enough illegal white settlement had occurred that the Creeks appealed to the federal government for protection of their property rights. In July of that year, federal troops were sent to the Eufaula area to remove the settlers by force of arms, a conflict known as the "Intruders War".:4
The Creeks signed the Treaty of Washington in 1826, ceding most of their land in Georgia and eastern Alabama to the United States, but it was not fully effective in practice until the late 1820s. The 1832 Treaty of Cusseta, by which the Creeks ceded all land east of the Mississippi River to the United States, allowed white settlers to legally buy land from the Creek. However, the treaty's terms did not require any natives to relocate. By 1835 the land on which the town was built had been mostly purchased by white settlers, and had a store, owned in part by William Irwin, after whom the new settlement was named "Irwinton".:5
Significant numbers of Jewish settlers came to Eufala in the middle of the nineteenth century from Germany and from neighboring states. The community founded a cemetery; the first burial took place in 1845.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Eufaula AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 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.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Eufaula AL
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Eufaula AL.