How to Pick the Right Welding Trade School near Montevallo Alabama
Locating the right welder technical school near Montevallo AL is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welding technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise 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 Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Montevallo AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach 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 certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Montevallo AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Montevallo AL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most 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 choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Montevallo AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Montevallo AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Montevallo AL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Montevallo AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Montevallo AL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Montevallo AL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Montevallo AL area that can 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 initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, 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 have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Welding Certification Classes Montevallo AL
Selecting the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Classes and wanted more information on the topic School Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Montevallo AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Dr. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.
Montevallo is located at 33°6′18″N 86°51′46″W / 33.10500°N 86.86278°W / 33.10500; -86.86278 (33.1049, -86.8628). A plaque on Reynolds Cemetery Road, just off Alabama State Route 25, in the eastern corner of the town, marks the geographic center of the state of Alabama. Middle Street, formerly known as Main Street, had its name changed in 1899 for this reason, upon the completion of a new state survey.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson's friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson's Hill developed on the site. The settlement's location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.
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