How to Select the Best Welding Trade School near Enterprise Alabama
Choosing the right welder trade school near Enterprise AL is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Enterprise AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created 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 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Enterprise AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Enterprise AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Enterprise 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Enterprise AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Enterprise AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Enterprise AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Enterprise AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Enterprise AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Aluminum Welding Classes Enterprise AL
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Aluminum Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic I Want To Become A Welder. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program 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 ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every 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 talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Enterprise AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.