How to Select the Best Welding Training Class near Auburn University Alabama
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Auburn University AL is an important first step to beginning your new career 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? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations 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 starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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.
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Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Auburn University AL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 most often 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 prepares 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 potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Auburn University AL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Auburn University AL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Auburn University AL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Auburn University AL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Auburn University AL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 University AL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Auburn University AL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may 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, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some 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. Similarly, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Auburn University AL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Auburn University AL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover 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 use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Where to Find Accredited Schools for Welders Auburn University AL
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where to Find Accredited Schools for Welders and wanted more information on the topic Where to Find Weekend Schools for Welders. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should 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 type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Auburn University 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 2018 population of 65,738. 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.