How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Quinton Alabama
Enrolling in the right welding technical school near Quinton AL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Quinton AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach 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 two years to complete 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Quinton 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). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Quinton AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of 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 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 choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as 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 acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Quinton AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered 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 help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Quinton AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who were 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Quinton AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities 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 unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Quinton AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Quinton AL home. If you do decide 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 especially the case for welder 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Quinton AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Quinton AL?
Perhaps you live in the Quinton 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.
Quinton Aaron (born August 15, 1984) is an American actor. He made his film debut in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind. His first lead role was as Michael Oher in the 2009 film The Blind Side. In 2010, Aaron guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2015, Aaron shot the film Busy Day in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Aaron made his film debut as Q in Michel Gondry's Be Kind Rewind, starring Mos Def and Jack Black. He has also appeared in Fighting with Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard and co-starred in an NYU thesis short film called Mr. Brooklyn with Al Thompson (Liberty Kid, A Walk to Remember), directed by Jason Sokoloff.
His first lead role was playing Michael Oher, alongside Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw in The Blind Side, released November 20, 2009. Directed by John Lee Hancock, the film was adapted from Michael Lewis's 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, which features Oher's real-life story. Oher had started in ten games as a guard during his first season with the Ole Miss Rebels, becoming a first-team freshman All-American, and later an American football offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Aaron auditioned for the role after his mother found out about the casting call online. Chosen as a finalist, he was flown in to Los Angeles for the final audition. Unsure whether he had been successful, he reached into his pocket on his way to the door and pulled out a card, telling director John Lee Hancock that he knew that it was a long shot for him to get the part, but that he did security work and would love to provide those services should they be needed for the film. Director Hancock said that he would keep it in mind.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Quinton AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important 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 must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Vocational School Quinton AL
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot 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 offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Quinton AL.