How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Jackson Georgia
Enrolling in the right welding vocational school near Jackson GA is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Jackson GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop 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 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing 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 find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Jackson GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Vocational School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Jackson GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding 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 earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Jackson GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Jackson GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Jackson GA employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Jackson GA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Jackson GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Jackson GA, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Jackson GA?
Perhaps you live in the Jackson 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.
Jackson is a city in Butts County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Butts County. The population was 5,045 in 2010, up from 3,934 at the 2000 census. The community was named after governor James Jackson.
Founded in 1826, Jackson began as a 303-acre (1.23 km2) plot purchased for the purpose of starting the town. The plot was divided into squares and each square into lots. The first buyer of a lot in the new town was John D. Swift of Newton County, Georgia. During the Civil War, much of Jackson was razed by the army of General William T. Sherman during his March to the Sea. After the war, Jackson, like much of the South, struggled economically for decades. Jackson remained little more than a small village until the arrival of the railroads in the latter half of the 19th century. On May 5, 1882, the first train arrived in Jackson, heralding a new era in the transportation of people and goods.
During the 20th century, Jackson grew and industrial textile mills became the largest employer of local citizens. The arrival of Interstate 75 just a few miles to the southwest of the city gave citizens quick access to Atlanta and Macon. The numerous schools throughout the county consolidated into one central school system located in Jackson, and the schools desegregated in 1968. In the 1970s, Jackson slowly became a bedroom community. City taxes were also abolished in the 1970s.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Jackson GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational School Jackson GA
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Jackson GA.