How to Choose a Welder Certification Program near Lyons Georgia
Locating the ideal welding school near Lyons GA is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Lyons GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Lyons GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Lyons GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Lyons GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Lyons 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 essential that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high 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 Lyons GA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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. If not, ask a local Lyons GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Lyons GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lyons GA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lyons GA?
Perhaps you live in the Lyons 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,169 people, 1,547 households, and 986 families residing in the city. The population density was 557.1 people per square mile (215.2/km²). There were 1,787 housing units at an average density of 238.8 per square mile (92.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.25% White, 32.38% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 7.22% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.06% of the population.
There were 1,547 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 21.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the city, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lyons GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech School Lyons GA
Picking the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lyons GA.