How to Pick a Welder Certification Class near Gordon Georgia
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Gordon GA is an essential first step to starting your new career 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Gordon GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Gordon GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Vocational School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Gordon GA area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as 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 acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Gordon GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Gordon GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Gordon GA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Gordon GA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Gordon GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gordon GA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Gordon GA?
Perhaps you live in the Gordon 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.
Fort Gordon, formerly known as Camp Gordon, is a United States Army installation established in October 1941. It is the current home of the United States Army Signal Corps , United States Army Cyber Corps, and Cyber Center of Excellence. It was once the home of The Provost Marshal General School and Civil Affairs School. The fort is located next to Augusta, Georgia to the southwest of the city. The main component of the post is the Advanced Individual Training for Signal Corps military occupational specialities. In 1966–68 the Army's Signal Officer Candidate School (located at Fort Monmouth during World War II and the Korean War) graduated over 2,200 Signal officers. Signals Intelligence has become more visible and comprises more and more of the fort's duties.
The United States Army established many war-training camps during World War I. Chamblee, northeast of Atlanta, was selected for one of the state's largest army cantonments. It was named Camp Gordon in honor of John Brown Gordon, who was a major general in the Confederate army, a Georgia governor, a U.S. senator, and a businessman. The camp opened in July 1917, becoming a training site and home of the famous 82nd Airborne Division. The division was composed of men from several different states, but men from Georgia made up almost half its number. This camp was in operation until the sale of real estate and buildings was ordered in 1920. It was abandoned in September 1921. During WWI the US Army Camp Hancock was located in Augusta, Georgia in the general vicinity of the current Daniel Field. Camp Hancock was the home of the 28th Infantry Division from Pennsylvania. Camp Hancock was abandoned and turned over to a caretaker detachment March 27, 1919. From 1919 until 1941, there was no army installation named Camp Gordon in existence, nor was there an installation located near Augusta, Georgia. 
Camp Gordon was approved as the name for a WWII division training camp which began construction in July 1941. The U.S. War Department approved a contract to construct facilities on a new training area near Augusta, in Richmond County, Georgia that had been selected several months earlier. A groundbreaking and flag-raising ceremony took place in October. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor Colonel Herbert W. Schmidt, camp commander, moved his small staff from his temporary office in the Augusta post office building to the unfinished headquarters building at Camp Gordon on 9 December 1941 and the 4th Infantry Division began to establish operations there.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Gordon GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Right Welding Tech School Gordon GA
Picking the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many 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 evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Gordon GA.