Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Clarkston GA

How to Select a Welder Training Class near Clarkston Georgia

Clarkston GA welding school studentFinding the right welding trade school near Clarkston GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses

Clarkston GA welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Clarkston GA.

  • 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 scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Clarkston GA welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Clarkston GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain kinds of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Vocational Program

Clarkston GA welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Clarkston GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Clarkston GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask 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 various 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Clarkston GA welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Clarkston GA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Clarkston GA welding professional if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Clarkston GA 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 especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Clarkston GA, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Clarkston GA?

Perhaps you live in the Clarkston Georgia area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there.  In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.

Clarkston, Georgia

Clarkston is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 12,742 as of 2016.[5] The Clarkston Campus of Georgia State University's Perimeter College is just south of the city limits.

The city is noted for its ethnic diversity, and is often referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America" and "the Ellis Island of the South." In the 1990s, refugee resettlement programs identified Clarkston as a good fit for displaced persons of many backgrounds. The rental market was open, residents were moving farther out from the Atlanta urban core, and Clarkston was the last stop on a transit line into the city. By the 2000s the local high school had students from more than 50 countries; a local mosque had 800 worshipers; and by some estimates, half the population was from outside the U.S.

A post office called Clarkston has been in operation since 1876.[6] The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1882 as the "Town of Clarkston", with municipal corporate limits extending in a one-half mile radius from the Georgia Railroad depot.[7] The community was named after W. W. Clark, a railroad official.[8]

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Clarkston GAWelding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Clarkston GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until 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. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Right Welding Trade Program Clarkston GA

Selecting the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Clarkston GA.

 

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