How to Pick a Welding Degree Program near Lake Park Georgia
Finding the ideal welding technical school near Lake Park 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 choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Lake Park GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Lake Park GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Trade School
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Lake Park GA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most 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 considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Lake Park GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older 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 Lake Park GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lake Park GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate 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 using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Lake Park GA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Lake Park GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Park GA, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lake Park GA?
Perhaps you live in the Lake Park 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.
Lake Park, Georgia
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.72%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 549 people, 224 households, and 140 families residing in the city. The population density was 385.5 people per square mile (149.3/km²). There were 262 housing units at an average density of 184.0 per square mile (71.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.15% White, 15.66% African American, 1.82% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.36% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.19% of the population.
There were 224 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.5% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.96.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lake Park GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give 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 until you actually do it. Obviously 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech Program Lake Park GA
Picking the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lake Park GA.