How to Choose the Right Welding Training Class near Autaugaville Alabama
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Autaugaville AL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Autaugaville AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Autaugaville AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Autaugaville AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Autaugaville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate 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. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 associations within the Autaugaville AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Autaugaville AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Autaugaville AL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Autaugaville AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could 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 a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Autaugaville AL, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Autaugaville AL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. 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 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
MIG Welding Classes Autaugaville AL
Selecting the ideal welder training program will probably 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 MIG Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic Welding Degree Programs. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Autaugaville AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
William Thompson, the first settler in what is now Autaugaville arrived around 1820 and built a gristmill and sawmill on Swift Creek, about three miles upriver from the Alabama River. One source says that the town incorporated in 1839, but another cites 1907. A cotton mill opened in 1849 on the banks of Swift Creek, and following upon the model of industrialist Daniel Pratt, the owner constructed housing for its employees, expanding the town. It grew further when many citizens from nearby Vernon relocated here to escape the floods and diseases to which that town was prone. By 1851, the town had a population of 351 and claimed four stores, two churches, and two schools.
Additional businesses opened during this period, including a cloth factory, a buggy and wagon factory, and a gristmill, making it a thriving manufacturing center. The downtown area was seriously damaged by a fire in 1853, but quickly rebuilt. The town's first and only newspaper, the Autauga Citizen, also began publication in 1853, existing until 1873.
The Civil War and Reconstruction resulted in the closing of the town's factories, including the cotton factory, which saw its shipments seized by the U.S. government. The war and its aftermath essentially ended Autaugaville's status as a manufacturing center. The town incorporated in 1907, and the Alabama Central Railroad built a branch through town in 1911. At least one of several lumber mills operated periodically until the 1930s. In 1936, an Alabama Forestry Commission nursery opened near town. Crystal Lake Manufacturing Company makes brooms, mops, and handles in Autaugaville.