How to Enroll In the Right Welding Degree Program near Auburn Alabama
Locating the right welder vocational school near Auburn AL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Auburn AL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Auburn AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Auburn AL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types 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, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Auburn AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Auburn AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Auburn AL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Auburn AL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Auburn AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Auburn AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Where to Find Accredited Welding Schools Auburn AL
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where to Find Accredited Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Where to Find Weekend Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Auburn AL.
Other Alabama Welder Locations
Auburn is a city in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is the largest city in eastern Alabama with a 2016 population of 63,118. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 158,991, along with the Columbus, GA-AL MSA and Tuskegee, Alabama, comprises the greater Columbus-Auburn-Opelika, GA-AL CSA, a region home to 501,649 residents.
Auburn is a historic college town and is the home of Auburn University. It is Alabama's fastest-growing metropolitan area and the nineteenth fastest-growing metro area in the United States since 1990. U.S. News ranked Auburn among its top ten list of best places to live in the United States for the year 2009. The city's unofficial nickname is “The Loveliest Village On The Plains,” taken from a line in the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith: “Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain...”
Inhabited in antiquity by the Creek, the land on which Auburn sits was opened to settlement in 1832 with the Treaty of Cusseta. The first settlers arrived in the winter of 1836 from Harris County, Georgia. These settlers, led by Judge John J. Harper, intended to build a town that would be the religious and educational center for the area.