Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Macon GA

How to Find the Right Welding Certificate Program near Macon Georgia

Macon GA welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Macon GA is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish 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.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training

Macon GA welder working on pipingThere are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Macon GA.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often 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 readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Macon GA welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Macon GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. 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 specific types of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Technical Program

Macon GA welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Macon GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Macon GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Macon GA welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Macon GA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Macon GA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Macon 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 especially the case for welding diploma 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 needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Macon GA, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Macon GA?

Perhaps you live in the Macon 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.

Macon, Georgia

Macon (/ˈmeɪkən/), officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."

Located near the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, Macon is the county seat of Bibb County and had a 2017 estimated population of 152,663.[4] Macon is the principal city of the Macon metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 228,914 in 2017. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area (CSA), a larger trading area with an estimated 420,693 residents in 2017; the CSA abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north.

In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County, and Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Columbus). The two governments officially merged on January 1, 2014.[5]

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in Macon GAWelding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Macon GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Ideal Welding Technical School Macon GA

Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Macon GA.

 

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