How to Select a Welder Technical School near Commerce Georgia
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Commerce GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Commerce GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Commerce GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. 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 specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
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 begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Commerce GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic 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 example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select 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 superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Commerce GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous 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. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Commerce GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Commerce GA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three 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 modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Commerce GA welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Commerce GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Commerce GA, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Commerce GA?
Perhaps you live in the Commerce 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.
The Lacoda Trail, which extended from present-day Athens to the north Georgia mountains, was a significant trade and travel route through this area. (Georgia State Route 334, which follows a 9-mile (14 km) section of this ancient trail, was designated the "Lacoda Trail Memorial Parkway" by the Georgia General Assembly in 1998.)
Local histories that originated in the mid-1800s describe a territorial war between the Creeks and Cherokees over the land in the county during the 1770s. This war never occurred. The Cherokees were decisively defeated by the Koweta Creeks in 1754. For about a decade after their 1754 defeat, all Cherokee villages in the Georgia colony and the Hiwassee River valley in North Carolina were abandoned.William Bartram traveled through northeastern Georgia in 1773 and described the Creeks as being completely dominant over the Cherokees. The Cherokees never occupied or held title to lands within the boundaries of Jackson County.
The Creek Confederacy ceded its lands east of the Oconee River in 1785. A subsequent treaty in 1793 ceded the remainder of the land that was to become Jackson County. The last corridor of Creek land, located west of Jackson County, was ceded in 1818.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Commerce GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Technical Program Commerce GA
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Commerce GA.