How to Find the Right Welder Certification Course near Shannon Alabama
Choosing the right welding technical school near Shannon AL is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of 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 cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered near Shannon AL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by Shannon AL area trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by Alabama 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 states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Shannon AL.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Shannon AL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Shannon AL employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship near Shannon AL. 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 discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Shannon AL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the Shannon AL welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered 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 also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other Shannon AL metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate 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 program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Shannon AL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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. Otherwise, ask a local Shannon AL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Shannon 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 especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential 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 programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Shannon AL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Shannon AL
Shannon Lucas (born September 27, 1983) is an American heavy metal drummer from Staunton, Virginia. He is best known as the former drummer for death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder and metalcore band All That Remains.
Lucas began drumming at the age of 14 while also covering Slayer songs on guitar; he later joined percussion classes in high school. At age 19, he moved to Richmond, Virginia, and joined Cory Smoot in the GWAR side project Mensrea while playing with the deathgrind band Wartorn. While opening for GWAR with the band, Lucas met All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte and the two remained in close contact. Lucas later moved to Massachusetts and joined All That Remains, replacing drummer Michael Bartlett. Lucas appeared in the All That Remains videos "The Air That I Breathe" and "Tattered on my Sleeve," and performed on tours such as Sounds of the Underground and Ozzfest 2006. Lucas left the band soon after to move to Michigan. He was replaced by Jason Costa.
In March 2007, Shannon Lucas auditioned for the melodic death metal band The Black Dahlia Murder on a floor display drum kit at the Guitar Center store in Canton, Michigan, where he worked. He was given the job, replacing Zach Gibson. Since joining the band, Lucas played on their 2007 release Nocturnal, 2009's Deflorate, and 2011's Ritual, and he appeared in the DVD Majesty.
On January 30, 2012, Cannibal Corpse singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher confirmed to Metal Injection magazine that he, Lucas, and Adam Dutkiewicz of the band Killswitch Engage were forming a side project, likely to be released on Metal Blade Records. In 2016, the band announced its name as Serpentine Dominion and revealed the release date of their debut album.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Shannon AL
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Shannon AL.