How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Lineville Alabama
Finding the right welder trade school near Lineville AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welding technical 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 prudent to develop 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 Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Lineville AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Lineville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Lineville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Lineville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Lineville 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 crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Lineville AL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lineville AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Lineville AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lineville AL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lineville AL?
Perhaps you live in the Lineville 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.
Native Americans were the first to inhabit the area now known as Lineville. The Creek Indian War of 1813, however, resulted in their removal. The first white settlers in the area were William and Thomas Lundie. Their settlement became known as Lundie's Cross Roads after a trading post opened in the 1830s to serve pioneers and miners searching for gold. In 1856, Lundie's Cross Roads became known as County Line, probably for the Baptist Church, founded in 1848 and located on what was then the boundary line between Talladega and Randolph counties. Also in 1856, a post office was established in County Line, schools were consolidated and corn and cotton became cash crops.
The Town of (Crooked Creek) Lineville was built on what was at that time the dividing line between Talladega and Randolph Counties, hence the name, Lineville. John H. Ingram, Sr. of Lineville, Alabama furnishes the following early history: “Crooked Creek Baptist Church, later Lineville, was organized in 1839 and built one and one quarter miles west of the town of Lineville about 200 yards northwest of the home of Frank Pittard; and the first literary school of the community was nearby. Some years later the church was moved a short distance and a house was built on the left side of the public road near the residence of the late Thomas H. Harris. In about 1863 the church was moved into the town of Lineville and a house built just west of the present grammar school building; the name was changed to Lineville Baptist Church in 1881 and legally incorporated in 1912; the first Circuit Court that was held in the new County of Clay, was held in the Lineville Baptist Church in 1867, with John Henderson of Talladega, Alabama, as a judge. The present new brick building was built in 1915 and 1916, with the first service held on March 1st, 1916, with prayer and thanksgiving service conducted by J.H. Ingram, Sr., and C.N. James, pastor.”
One of the newest attractions in Clay County in the 1920s, was the chicken business. Millions of chickens and eggs and long chicken houses In or about 1921, Reverend Secelar Claxton Ray took one hundred, day-old chicks to the Clay County Fair and put them under an oil burning brooder and called attention to the advantage of using chickens on the farm to supplement the ‘all cotton’ cash crop. This was something new, but it did gradually got the attention of the local farmers. He was now fully in the poultry business, and named it Goodwill Poultry Farm and Hatchery. He bought houses then idle at the local graphite mines in Clay County and hired neighbors in their spare time and built the hatchery and chicken houses and an extra tenant house on the farm, southeast of Ashland, Alabama whose population of close to one thousand had grown considerably from two hundred in 1881.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Lineville AL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School Lineville AL
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lineville AL.