How to Choose the Best Welding Trade School near Albertville Alabama
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Albertville AL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Albertville AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Albertville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Albertville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider 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 choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds 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 instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Albertville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Albertville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Albertville AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Albertville AL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Albertville AL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Albertville AL, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Albertville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Local Welding Training near Albertville AL
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Local Welding Training near and wanted more information on the topic Cost Of Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Albertville AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer: