How to Choose the Best Welder Technical School near Greenville Alabama
Finding the right welder vocational school near Greenville AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine 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 to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Greenville 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, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Greenville AL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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 kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen 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 welding trade and technical schools in the Greenville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to 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 following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Greenville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Greenville AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Greenville AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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. Otherwise, ask a local Greenville AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Greenville AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs 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 provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Greenville AL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Greenville AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Private Welding Schools Greenville AL
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Private Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Welding Schools Near Me. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some 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 proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Greenville AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.