How to Pick a Welder Certification Program near Haleyville Alabama
Finding the right welder trade school near Haleyville AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Haleyville AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Haleyville AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various types 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 confirm that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Haleyville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive 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 sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Haleyville AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Haleyville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in 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 higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Haleyville AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Haleyville AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Haleyville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Haleyville AL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Haleyville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Haleyville 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.
Haleyville is a city in Winston and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It incorporated on February 28, 1889. Most of the city is located in Winston County, with a small portion of the western limits entering Marion County. Haleyville was originally named Davis Cross Roads, having been established at the crossroads of Byler Road and the Illinois Central Railroad. At the 2010 census the population was 4,173, down slightly from 4,182 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,182 people, 1,815 households, and 1,148 families residing in the city. The population density was 563.9 people per square mile (217.6/km²). There were 2,061 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.81% White, 1.48% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 2.68% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 3.11% of the population were Latino of any race.
There were 1,815 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 52 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Haleyville AL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Haleyville AL
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means 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 some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Haleyville AL.