How to Select a Welder Trade School near Rincon Georgia
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Rincon GA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Rincon GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Rincon GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Rincon GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard 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 verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Rincon 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 also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Rincon GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber 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 Rincon GA contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Rincon GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Rincon GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rincon GA, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Rincon GA?
Perhaps you live in the Rincon 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.
Rincon, in the southeast area of Effingham County, Georgia, was incorporated as a city in 1927. While the earliest settlers came to the area in 1751, the area had little development until the late 19th century.
During the American Civil War, when forces of the Union Army penetrated the South, thousands of slaves escaped from plantations to go to their lines. Many fell in with the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and followed his March to the Sea. Hundreds of fugitive African-Americans drowned during the campaign while trying to cross Ebenezer Creek near the site of present-day Rincon, outside of Savannah. In 2010 the Georgia Historical Society erected a historical marker about this event, as part of a major project to memorialize little-known events from the Civil War era and recognize African-American sacrifices for freedom.
Rincon's development was catalyzed by the coming of the railroad in the 1890s. A rail line was built from the Carolinas across the state line at the Savannah River and southward to Savannah. The name of the city is believed to have been adopted from the Spanish or Mexican name Rincón, after a small but prosperous town in Mexico. (Rincón means "corner.")
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Rincon GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Rincon GA
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Rincon GA.
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