How to Find the Right Welder Certification Course near Blountsville Alabama
Enrolling in the right welding school near Blountsville AL is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 pick the best one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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
There are multiple alternatives available to receive 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Blountsville AL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Blountsville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things 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
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Schools
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Blountsville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick 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 need to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Blountsville AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing 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 assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Blountsville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Blountsville AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate 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 comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Blountsville AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Blountsville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in 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. Also, 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Blountsville AL, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Blountsville AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Blountsville AL
Choosing the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in How to Choose a Welding Technical School near and wanted more information on the topic Welder Certification Training. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Blountsville AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. It became a popular stop for westward-bound settlers who streamed into the area at the end of the Creek War. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.