How to Pick the Best Welder Vocational School near Boykin Alabama
Selecting the right welder technical school near Boykin AL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located 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 vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Boykin AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by 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.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Boykin AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Tech Schools
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Boykin AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Boykin AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Boykin AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Boykin AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Boykin AL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. 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 Boykin AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma 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 an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed 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 Boykin AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose 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 emergencies.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Boykin AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need 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 expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Welder Classes Boykin AL
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder Classes and wanted more information on the topic Best Welding Colleges. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education 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 kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Boykin AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Boykin, also known as Gee's Bend, is an African American majority community and census-designated place in a large bend of the Alabama River in Wilcox County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, its population was 275. The Boykin Post Office was established in the community in 1949 and remains active, servicing the 36723 ZIP code.
Gee's Bend was named for Joseph Gee, an early large land owner from Halifax County, North Carolina who settled here in 1816. Gee brought 18 African American slaves with him and established a cotton plantation within the bend.
Boykin is a block of land enclosed on three sides by the Alabama River, within a horseshoe shaped turn of the river named Gee's Bend. It is within the Black Belt of Alabama. The plantation started by Joseph Gee passed to his nephews Sterling and Charles Gee upon his death, along with 47 slaves. The brothers then sold it to their relative Mark H. Pettway in 1845 to settle a $29,000 debt. About a year later, the Pettway family moved from North Carolina to Gee's Bend, bringing about one hundred slaves with them. When slavery was abolished many of them continued working for the Pettways as sharecroppers. Many of the black tenants Arthur Rothstein photographed were named Pettway. The white Pettway family owned the property until 1895, when it was sold to Adrian Sebastian Van de Graaff. Van de Graaff, a lawyer from Tuscaloosa, then operated it as an absentee landlord.