How to Choose a Welder Trade School near Perkins Georgia
Selecting the right welder school near Perkins GA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welding trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Perkins GA.
- Diploma and Certificate 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, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Perkins GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Perkins GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider 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 considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Perkins GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Perkins GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. 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 program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Perkins GA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Perkins GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Perkins GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Perkins GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Perkins GA?
Perhaps you live in the Perkins 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.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Perkins GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, 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 setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Perkins GA
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Perkins GA.