How to Pick the Best Welding Degree Program near Greenville Alabama
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Greenville AL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found 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 beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Request Free Information on Welding Schools Near You
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several 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 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 Greenville AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Greenville AL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means 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 decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Greenville AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain 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 make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Greenville AL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Greenville 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 important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Greenville AL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Greenville AL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Greenville AL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might 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 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 important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville AL, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Greenville AL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have to 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 knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Where to Find Accelerated Welding Programs Near Me Greenville AL
Selecting the best welding training program will undoubtedly 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 Where to Find Accelerated Welding Programs Near Me and wanted more information on the topic Free Info on Local Welding Programs Near Me. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Greenville AL.
Other Alabama Welder Locations
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.