How to Select a Welding Technical School near Atmore Alabama
Selecting the right welder school near Atmore AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options 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 available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in Atmore AL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Alabama trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by Alabama community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder in Atmore AL.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Atmore AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Atmore AL employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain Atmore AL area community colleges and technical schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin 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. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Atmore AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick 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 selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available for Atmore AL schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some 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 placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various Atmore AL metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Atmore AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Atmore AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Atmore AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the Atmore AL area welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Atmore AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Welder?When preparing to interview for a Welder job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask Welder prospects is "What drove you to pick Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent Welder and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School near Atmore AL
Choosing the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal 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 offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Atmore AL.
About Atmore Alabama
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On May 23, 2007, Atmore celebrated its centenary.
The federally recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians is headquartered in Atmore.
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