How to Select a Welding Certification Program near Mableton Georgia
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Mableton GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Mableton GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides 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 prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding 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.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Mableton GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like 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 attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Mableton GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must 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 below are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types 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, such as 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 recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Mableton GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous 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. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established 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 Mableton GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Mableton GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Mableton GA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Mableton GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mableton GA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Mableton GA?
Perhaps you live in the Mableton 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.
Mableton is a census-designated place in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, Mableton had a population of 37,115. When Brookhaven became a city in December 2012, Mableton became the largest unincorporated community in Metro Atlanta.
It was named for Robert Mable, who on September 11, 1843, bought 300 acres (approximately 120 hectares or 1.2 km²) of land. The Southern Railway opened a railroad station in Mableton in December 1881, and on June 28, 1882, the post office opened replacing the Bryantville post office about two miles (3.2 km) southeast. On August 19, 1912, Mableton was incorporated as a town but was disincorporated on August 17, 1916. The historic Mable House and plantation, located off U.S. 78 on Floyd Road just north of Clay Road, now includes an amphitheatre which hosts public events.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 0.82%, is water.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Mableton GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade School Mableton GA
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Mableton GA.
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