How to Select a Welding Certification Program near Sulligent Alabama
Enrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Sulligent AL is an essential first step to launching 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish 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
There are multiple options to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Sulligent AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Sulligent AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent 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
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Sulligent AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical 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 2 standard 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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 a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Sulligent 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 welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Sulligent AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Sulligent AL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Sulligent AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Sulligent AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sulligent AL, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Sulligent AL?
Perhaps you live in the Sulligent 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.
Sulligent is a city in Lamar County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 1,927, down from its record high of 2,151 in 2000. From 1910-1950 and again in 2000, it was the largest community in Lamar County before losing the distinction both times to the county seat of Vernon. The name is derived from railroad personnel.
Sulligent was first called "Elliott", in honor of the chief engineer of the Kansas City-Memphis-Birmingham Railroad, then renamed one month later with the portmanteau “Sulligent”, in honor of Sullivan, the superintendent of the railroad, and Sargeant, the passenger agent of the railroad.
The production and processing of cotton was an important industry. The primary business in Sulligent in the mid-1890s was cotton, with over 2500 bales ginned each year and shipped via the railroad. At one time, Sulligent Cotton Oil Company was known as the largest cotton gin under one roof.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Sulligent AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Technical Program Sulligent AL
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Sulligent AL.