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

How to Pick a Welding Trade School near Oglethorpe Georgia

Oglethorpe GA welding school studentSelecting the ideal welding vocational school near Oglethorpe GA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses

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

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 two years to complete 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Oglethorpe GA welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Oglethorpe GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 specific kinds of welds
  • Work in compliance with contract specifications

As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Tech Program

Oglethorpe GA welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Oglethorpe GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen 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 mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Oglethorpe 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 also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Oglethorpe GA welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Oglethorpe GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Oglethorpe GA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Oglethorpe GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Oglethorpe GA, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Oglethorpe GA?

Perhaps you live in the Oglethorpe 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.

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

Fort Oglethorpe is a city predominantly in Catoosa County with some portions in Walker County in the U.S. state of Georgia.[4] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,263.[5] It is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home to Lakeview – Fort Oglethorpe High School.

The United States Army established a cavalry post at the site of Hargrave, Georgia, an unincorporated town situated next to the Chickamauga National Battlefield. The existing settlement was named for a Confederate soldier, William Hamilton Hargrave, who along with his wife Amelia Cecilia Strange-Hargrave owned most of the land in the area. The couple was well known in the 19th century to travellers heading to Ross's Landing on the Tennessee River from LaFayette, Georgia. William Hargrave and other landowners in the area were forced to sell their property to the Army[citation needed] to be used as a base for the 6th Cavalry. The Chickamauga Post established in 1902 by the U.S. Army was later named Fort Oglethorpe after James Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia. During World War I and World War II, the area served as a war-time induction and processing center, and also housed German prisoners of war.[6] Fort Oglethorpe was a major training center for the Women's Army Corps during World War II. The post was declared surplus in 1947 and sold to civilians, forming the nucleus for a city that was incorporated in 1949.[7][8]

Fort Oglethorpe is located in western Catoosa County and northeastern Walker County at 34°56′44″N 85°14′44″W / 34.94556°N 85.24556°W / 34.94556; -85.24556 (34.945683, -85.245653).[9] It is 9 miles (14 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, by U.S. Route 27, which also leads south 18 miles (29 km) to LaFayette, Georgia. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park takes up the southern two-thirds of the city's area.

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Oglethorpe GAWelding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Oglethorpe GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. 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 performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Find the Best Welding Vocational School Oglethorpe GA

Selecting the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Oglethorpe GA.

 

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