How to Enroll In the Best Welding Certificate Program near Plantersville Alabama
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Plantersville AL is an essential 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Plantersville AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Plantersville AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Plantersville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Plantersville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help 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. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Plantersville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Plantersville AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Plantersville AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance 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 welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Plantersville AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Plantersville AL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Plantersville AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Best Welding Colleges Plantersville AL
Picking the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Welding Colleges and wanted more information on the topic 6 Month Welding Course. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Plantersville AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Plantersville is an unincorporated community in Dallas County, Alabama, United States. It lies near the county's border with Autauga and Chilton counties. Plantersville was named for the local cotton planters and plantations. The town is home to Dallas County High School and J. E. Terry Elementary School.
After the Civil War Battle of Ebenezer Church (April 1, 1865), Union troops burned the railroad depot at Plantersville and a cotton warehouse. Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson's troops spent the night camped in Plantersville, then on to the Battle of Selma the next day.
Pickering's Grocery Store has been replaced by a nice gas station and convenience store. Noodie’s BBQ closes down due to Mr. Noodie retiring, but you can still purchase his sauce from many regional grocers.