Welder Training Schools near Alexander City AL 35010

How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Alexander City Alabama 

Alexander City AL welder working on pipeSelecting the right welding vocational school near Alexander City 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding technical 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 create a list of qualifications that your selected welding 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 a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in Alexander City AL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 complete and are usually offered by Alabama community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Alexander City AL.

Welder Certification Options

Alexander City AL electrician welding poleThere are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Alexander City AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific types of welds
  • Work according to contract specifications

As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Alexander City AL employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various Alexander City AL area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to 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 perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational School

Alexander City AL construction worker weldingAfter you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Alexander City AL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for Alexander City AL schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various Alexander City AL metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of  Alexander City AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Alexander City AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Alexander City AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the  Alexander City AL area welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alexander City AL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Why Did You Want to Be a Welding Technician?

When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Welder candidates is "What drove you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent Welding Technician and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.

Select the Best Welding Technical School near Alexander City AL

Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Alexander City AL.

About Alexander City Alabama

Alexander City, Alabama

Alexander City, known to locals as "Alex City", is a city in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, United States, with a population of some 14,875. It is known for Lake Martin with its 750 miles (1,210 km) of wooded shoreline and 44,000 acres (180 km2) of water. Lake Martin stands on the Tallapoosa River and offers boating, swimming, fishing, golfing, and camping. Many neighborhoods and luxury homes are located on the lake.

The city's economy was traditionally based on the textile industry, but in recent times its economic base has become more diversified as textile jobs have gone elsewhere.

Alexander City was incorporated in 1872 as Youngsville, after its founder James Young. In 1873, the Savannah and Memphis Railroad came to the city. The city was renamed in honor of the railroad's President Edward Porter Alexander, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg for the Confederate States.[4]

On June 13, 1902, at 1 pm, a fire broke out in the Alexander City Machine shop and destroyed much of the town. At the time, Alexander City did not have a water system and all buildings, including the telegraph office, post office and three banks were burned.[5]

 

 

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