How to Pick a Welding Technical School near Rock Spring Georgia
Choosing the ideal welder trade school near Rock Spring GA is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise 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 Classes
There are multiple options 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 explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Rock Spring GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one 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 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 extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Rock Spring GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Tech Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Rock Spring GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Rock Spring GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 develop associations within the Rock Spring GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Rock Spring GA contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting 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 similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Rock Spring GA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Rock Spring GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rock Spring GA, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Rock Spring GA?
Perhaps you live in the Rock Spring 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.
Rock Spring, Georgia
Rock Spring is a small unincorporated census county division located in northwest Georgia, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is in Walker County which resides in Georgia's 9th congressional district. Rock Spring is included in the Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The nearest major city is Chattanooga, and the nearest incorporated cities are Chickamauga and La Fayette, a few minutes away. From Rock Spring it takes roughly twenty minutes to drive to the Chattanooga city limits, and about thirty-five minutes for downtown Chattanooga. Nissin Brake Georgia , a major casting, machining and assembly facility established in 2002, is the largest employer in Rock Spring. There is also a Georgia Department of Driver Services branch in the community. Rock Spring Elementary School, Saddle Ridge Elementary, and Saddle Ridge Middle School serves the community as part of the Walker County School District.
Northwest Georgia has a significant history tied to the Civil War. The Battle of Chickamauga was fought in the Chickamauga area, and was one of the major battles of the war. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park spans over 9000 acres and is located in nearby Chickamauga.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Rock Spring GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Rock Spring GA
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer 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 length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Rock Spring GA.