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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Rabun Gap Georgia

Rabun Gap GA welding school studentFinding the right welding vocational school near Rabun Gap GA is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Training Classes

Rabun Gap GA welder working on pipingThere are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Rabun Gap GA.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Rabun Gap GA welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Rabun Gap GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific types of welds
  • Operate in compliance with contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program

Rabun Gap GA welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Rabun Gap GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, 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 help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Rabun Gap GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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. Many welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Rabun Gap 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 crucial that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Rabun Gap GA contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Rabun Gap GA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Rabun Gap GA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rabun Gap GA, verify that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Rabun Gap GA?

Perhaps you live in the Rabun Gap 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.

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (informally known as Rabun Gap) is a small, private college preparatory school located in Rabun County, Georgia, United States, in the Appalachian Mountains. It is both a boarding and a day school. Rabun Gap is notable for initiating the Foxfire magazine project in 1966, experiential education based on interviewing local people, and writing and publishing articles about their stories and oral traditions. This inspired numerous schools across the country to develop similar programs.

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is one of the largest coeducational, college-preparatory boarding schools in the South, serving boarding and day students in grades 5–12, and in the 2017-2018 school year, it will be pre-K 4–12th, after the turn of the admissions/business office to an elementary school. Located in Rabun Gap, the 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) campus is cradled in the mountains of northeast Georgia. The school combines a strong academic program, mountain setting, and Presbyterian heritage to nurture and challenge students of diverse backgrounds as they prepare for college and a lifetime of service.

Andrew Jackson Ritchie, a Rabun County native, and his wife, Addie Corn Ritchie, founded the Rabun Gap Industrial School in 1903 to serve the children of the isolated and poverty-stricken community Rabun Gap. With $1 and a personal note, Ritchie bought a 5-acre (20,000 m2) hilltop for the school. Construction began on the two-story main building, designed by Atlanta architect Haralson Bleckley (son of Rabun County native Logan Bleckley), with pledges of cash support and manual labor. The school was open to both boys and girls.

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Rabun Gap GAWelding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Rabun Gap GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Best Welding Vocational Program Rabun Gap GA

Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Rabun Gap GA.

 

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