How to Choose a Welder Certificate Program near Union Point Georgia
Locating the ideal welder trade school near Union Point GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder 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 create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options to get 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Union Point GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Union Point GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some 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 various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
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 numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Union Point GA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider 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 decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard 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, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Union Point GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Union Point GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Union Point GA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect 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 working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Union Point GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Union Point GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers 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 employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Union Point GA, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Union Point GA?
Perhaps you live in the Union Point 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.
Union Point, Georgia
Union Point is located in eastern Greene County at 33°36′59″N 83°4′26″W / 33.61639°N 83.07389°W / 33.61639; -83.07389 (33.616263, -83.073905).U.S. Route 278 passes through the city as Lamb Avenue, leading east 11 miles (18 km) to Crawfordville and west 7 miles (11 km) to Greensboro, the Greene County seat. Georgia State Route 77 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Lexington and south 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 at Siloam, and State Route 44 leads northeast 22 miles (35 km) to Washington.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,669 people, 651 households, and 421 families residing in the city. The population density was 811.4 people per square mile (312.8/km²). There were 744 housing units at an average density of 361.7 per square mile (139.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.47% White, 46.38% African American, 0.66% Asian, 0.84% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.10% of the population.
There were 651 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 24.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.08.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Union Point GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Union Point GA
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on 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 Union Point GA.