How to Select a Welder Training Class near Hanceville Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Hanceville AL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Hanceville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop 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 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.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Hanceville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Hanceville AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously 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 school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hanceville AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Hanceville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Hanceville AL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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. If not, ask a local Hanceville AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Hanceville AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hanceville AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Hanceville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Hanceville 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.
Founded in Blount County, Hanceville was incorporated in May 1879. At the time of Cullman County's creation in 1877, half of Hanceville resided in each county. In 1885, county boundaries were redrawn and all of Hanceville was placed within Blount County. In 1901, county boundaries were redrawn again and this time all of the town was placed within Cullman County, for which it has remained.
Hanceville is located in southeastern Cullman County at 34°3′48″N 86°45′39″W / 34.06333°N 86.76083°W / 34.06333; -86.76083 (34.063463, -86.760908).U.S. Route 31 passes through the city, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Cullman, the county seat, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Smoke Rise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,951 people, 1,167 households, and 710 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.6 people per square mile (277.2/km²). There were 1,323 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 4.61% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Hanceville AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Trade School Hanceville AL
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hanceville AL.