How to Pick a Welder Certification Class near Snellville Georgia
Selecting the ideal welding school near Snellville GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Snellville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Snellville GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously stated, 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 means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Snellville GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant 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 should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types 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 make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Snellville GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Snellville GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Snellville GA contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Snellville GA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Snellville GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Snellville GA, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Snellville GA?
Perhaps you live in the Snellville 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.
In 1874 Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, seventeen-year-old friends from London, secretly planned a voyage to the New World. On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles, left England. However, Snell's parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn't allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure. The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1, and after a few weeks headed toward Athens, Georgia, and then to Madison County, where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month. Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them. The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville. Shortly after Snell's arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the South and settling in Alabama, where he went into the turpentine business. James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878, when he returned to England to claim his inheritance. Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia, and then Gwinnett County. Once in Gwinnett County, Sawyer found Snell in the small settlement then known as New London, near Stone Mountain. In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer's Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London. As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell's likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods. By the end of 1879, the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville. Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer's" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day's travel. It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners' store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising, and the young town began to show a promising future.
The partnership later dissolved, and Sawyer kept the old store, building granite stone above and around the old frame and then disassembling the wood frame from within. Snell built a new store of granite. In 1883 Sawyer built a home and married Emma Webb, of the historic Snellville Webb family, on November 15. Sawyer opened Snellville's first post office in 1885 and served as postmaster from the back of his store.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Snellville GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Snellville GA
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Snellville GA.
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