How to Pick the Best Welding Certificate Program near Rutledge Alabama
Locating the right welder school near Rutledge AL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Rutledge AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Rutledge AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some 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 certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Rutledge AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential 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 career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Rutledge AL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after 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 refer their students. More established 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 Rutledge AL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who joined 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Rutledge AL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Rutledge AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Rutledge AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rutledge AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Rutledge AL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must 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 expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
College Welding Rutledge AL
Selecting the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in College Welding and wanted more information on the topic Welding Training Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect 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, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Rutledge AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Rutledge is located at the geographic center of Crenshaw County at 31°43′59″N 86°18′35″W / 31.73306°N 86.30972°W / 31.73306; -86.30972 (31.733103, -86.309619). The city of Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, lies along Rutledge's eastern border.
Rutledge began as Barber's Crossroads. It was originally settled by Jared Phelps Barber. The town was briefly named Crenshaw, but on June 10, 1867, it was changed to Rutledge in honor of Captain Henry Rutledge, Company H. 59th Alabama Infantry, CSA. Rutledge was the first county seat of Crenshaw County and held that position from March 1867 to May 1893. It was incorporated in 1871.
As of the census of 2000, there were 476 people, 201 households, and 127 families residing in the town. The population density was 143.4 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 264 housing units at an average density of 79.5 per square mile (30.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.01% White, 28.36% Black or African American, and 0.63% from two or more races.