How to Pick a Welder Training Program near Morgan Georgia
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Morgan GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder vocational 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 chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Morgan GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes 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, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Morgan GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected 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 things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Morgan GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Morgan GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Morgan GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Morgan GA employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Morgan GA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Morgan GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications 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 schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Morgan GA, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Morgan GA?
Perhaps you live in the Morgan 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.
Bruce & Morgan
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Morgan GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade School Morgan GA
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. 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 must that any welder training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Morgan GA.