How to Enroll In a Welding Trade School near Colquitt Georgia
Locating the ideal welder trade school near Colquitt GA is an important 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 know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Colquitt GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Colquitt GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. 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 certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Vocational Program
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Colquitt GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Colquitt GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place 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 placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Colquitt GA 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 high completion rate. A lower rate might 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 a good indicator 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 Colquitt GA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Colquitt GA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Colquitt GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Colquitt GA, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll 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 if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Colquitt GA?
Perhaps you live in the Colquitt 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.
Colquitt County, Georgia
Colquitt County is a county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 45,498. The county seat is Moultrie. The county was created February 25, 1856 and is named for Walter Terry Colquitt, a U.S. senator.
It is the hometown of former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. Colquitt County is the home of the Colquitt County Packers and is home to the 1994 Class AAAA and the 2014 and 2015 AAAAAA State Championship Football teams, along with the 1997 and 2003 State Champion Baseball teams.
Most of the western portion of Colquitt County, west of Moultrie and State Route 33, is located in the Upper Ochlockonee River sub-basin of the larger Ochlockonee River basin, with the exception of the very northwestern corner of the county, between Sale City and west of Doerun, which is located in the Lower Flint River sub-basin of the ACF River Basin (Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin). A narrow central portion of Colquitt County, running from north to south of Moultrie, and then widening to occupy the gap between U.S. Route 319 and State Route 133, is located in the Withlacoochee River sub-basin of the Suwannee River basin. The eastern portion of the county is located in the Little River sub-basin of the same Suwannee River basin.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Colquitt GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree 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.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech Program Colquitt GA
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk 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 training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Colquitt GA.