How to Find the Best Welder Certification Program near Troy Alabama
Selecting the right welding school near Troy AL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Programs
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Troy AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Troy AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds 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, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Trade Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Troy AL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Troy AL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined 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 must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Troy AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who joined 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Troy AL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Troy AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Troy AL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Troy AL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Troy AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Training In Welding Troy AL
Selecting the ideal welder training program 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 Training In Welding and wanted more information on the topic Welder Program. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Troy AL.
Find More Welding Locations in Alabama
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the fourth-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.