How to Enroll In the Best Welder Certification Class near Lowndesboro Alabama
Choosing the right welding trade school near Lowndesboro AL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Lowndesboro AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Lowndesboro 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 does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove 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 confirm that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Lowndesboro AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Lowndesboro 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 also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Lowndesboro AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lowndesboro AL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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 Lowndesboro AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Lowndesboro AL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lowndesboro AL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lowndesboro AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Lowndesboro AL
Choosing the right welding school 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 How to Choose a Welding Trade School near and wanted more information on the topic Learn TIG Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lowndesboro AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Lowndesboro is a town in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 115, down from 140 in 2000. It is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area. Although initially incorporated in 1856 by an act of the state legislature, it lapsed and was not reincorporated until 1962.
As of the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Censuses, Lowndesboro, along with Benton, are the only two towns (out of 7) in Lowndes County with a white majority of residents. Both are the 6th (Lowndesboro) and 7th (Benton) smallest communities.
Originally known as McGill's Hill, the community began attracting settlers following the conclusion of the Creek War. In 1832, the residents changed the name to Lowndesboro in honor of U.S. Congressman William Lowndes, the son of Rawlins Lowndes, an early South Carolina governor.