How to Choose a Welding Training Class near Harlem Georgia
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Harlem GA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welding technical 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Harlem GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Harlem GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Harlem GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Harlem GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job 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 associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Harlem 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 important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Harlem GA contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Harlem GA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose must be within driving distance of your Harlem GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Harlem GA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Harlem GA?
Perhaps you live in the Harlem 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.
Harlem is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area. The population was 2,666 at the 2010 census, up from 1,814 in 2000. Harlem is the birthplace of comedian Oliver Hardy; the annual Harlem Oliver Hardy Festival is held on the first Saturday each October on Main Street in his honor.
From the building of the Georgia Railroad which passes through town until at least the 1860s, Harlem was known as Saw Dust. The town is twinned with Ulverston in England, the birthplace of Stan Laurel, the partner of Oliver Hardy.
Harlem is located in southern Columbia County at 33°25′1″N 82°18′50″W / 33.41694°N 82.31389°W / 33.41694; -82.31389 (33.416822, -82.313762), with its western boundary following the McDuffie County line. U.S. Routes 78 and 278 pass through the center of town, leading east 23 miles (37 km) to downtown Augusta and west 12 miles (19 km) to Thomson. U.S. Route 221 crosses US 78/278 in the center of town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 and 21 miles (34 km) to the South Carolina border, and south 16 miles (26 km) to Wrens.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Harlem GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Tech School Harlem GA
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among 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 should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor 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 right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Harlem GA.
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