How to Pick the Best Welder Certification Program near Hartselle Alabama
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Hartselle AL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options available to obtain 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 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 brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Hartselle AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop 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 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Hartselle AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. 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 various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Hartselle AL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hartselle AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma 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 reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Hartselle AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hartselle AL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities 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 not sure 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 Hartselle AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Hartselle AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hartselle AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Hartselle AL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting 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 come across 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 setting.
Welding Certificate Courses Hartselle AL
Choosing the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certificate Courses and wanted more information on the topic Welding Program. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hartselle AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Hartselle is the second largest city in Morgan County, Alabama, United States, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Decatur, and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, and the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,255. Hartselle was founded in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. It takes its name from George Hartsell, one of the railroad's owners. The post office opened in 1873. It was formally incorporated on March 1, 1875. Most of the oldest buildings were destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1916.
Hartselle is located at 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028Coordinates: 34°26′25″N 86°56′25″W / 34.44028°N 86.94028°W / 34.44028; -86.94028 (34.440383, -86.940385).