How to Select a Welding Training Class near Kings Bay Georgia
Finding the ideal welding vocational school near Kings Bay GA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 pick the best one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Kings Bay GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach 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 finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Kings Bay GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate 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 offered based on the kind 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different 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, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Trade School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Kings Bay GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose 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 may want to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Kings Bay GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding 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. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Kings Bay GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Kings Bay GA contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Kings Bay GA welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Kings Bay GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see 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 Kings Bay GA, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Kings Bay GA?
Perhaps you live in the Kings Bay 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.
Kings Bay, Georgia
Since 1979, the adjacent Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (initially named Naval Submarine Support Base Kings Bay), located at 30.796 N, 81.514 W, has served as the major East Coast operating, training and refit base for nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). The base also hosts the Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic (SWFLANT), 30.785 N, 81.537 W.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Kings Bay GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Kings Bay GA
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kings Bay GA.