How to Enroll In the Right Welder Trade School near Atmore Alabama
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Atmore AL is an important first step to launching 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 options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welding trade 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 wise to establish 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.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Atmore AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Atmore AL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Atmore AL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you decide on 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 an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Atmore 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Atmore AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Atmore AL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment 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 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 Atmore AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Atmore 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 the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atmore AL, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose 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 Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Atmore AL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Where to Find Local Trade Schools for Welders Atmore AL
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where to Find Local Trade Schools for Welders and wanted more information on the topic Where to Find Night Trade Schools for Welders. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Atmore AL.
Other Alabama Welder Locations
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 9,354 in 2018. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore was first recorded as a stop (Williams Station) on the Mobile and Great Northern Railroad. The town was named after C.P. Atmore, General Passenger Agent of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, who was a friend of Mr. Carney, who owned a sawmill in town and was a prominent citizen. The town was originally going to be named "Carney", but Mr. Carney had a brother who had already established a town and named it Carney nearby. The town then decided to let Mr. Carney name the town. He named it after his close friend Mr. Atmore, who never visited Atmore.