How to Pick the Right Welding Certification Class near Perdue Hill Alabama
Locating the right welder trade school near Perdue Hill 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 know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Perdue Hill AL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Perdue Hill AL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as 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 skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Perdue Hill AL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds 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, for instance 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Perdue Hill AL for schools that are not accredited. 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 diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Perdue Hill AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Perdue Hill AL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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. Otherwise, ask a local Perdue Hill AL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Perdue Hill AL home. If you do decide 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. Furthermore, 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 a region 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 personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Perdue Hill AL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Perdue Hill AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use 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 seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Top Welding Colleges Perdue Hill AL
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Welding Colleges and wanted more information on the topic TIG Welding Certificate. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Perdue Hill AL.
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Jon B. Perdue
Jon B. Perdue is an American counterterrorism author and analyst. He is a special assistant at the Department of the Treasury for the Trump administration. He is also an inventor who appears on season one of the CNBC reality docu-series Make Me a Millionaire Inventor. He has worked for educational and security-related think tanks in Washington, DC and Latin America, and has lectured on asymmetric warfare and strategic communication. He has written for national security publications and has published articles in Investor's Business Daily, The Washington Times, Fox News,The Miami Herald, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has given testimony on national and international security issues before members of the U.S. congress and to members of the European Parliament.
Perdue grew up in Thomaston, Georgia, and graduated from the University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College), a senior military college in Dahlonega, Georgia, with a degree in finance, and served in the Georgia Army National Guard.
Perdue worked for several years as a business consultant, later becoming the vice president of business development for Infectech, a Pennsylvania-based biotech company, until it was acquired by Nutrapharma in October 2003. Following the Nutrapharma acquisition, Perdue moved to Latin America to start a company importing ambulances and medical equipment and setting up medical clinics for underserved patients in partnership with the non-profit Salud sin Fronteras (Healthcare Without Borders). After selling the medical import business in 2004, he began working with non-profit education-focused think tanks in Latin America and the U.S. In 2008, he moved to Washington, DC to become the founding director of the Institute for Leadership in the Americas, a Latin America-focused educational program of The Fund for American Studies.