How to Select a Welder Training Program near Wrightsville Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Wrightsville GA is an important first step to beginning 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 sensible to establish 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Wrightsville GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Wrightsville GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type 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 various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Vocational School
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Wrightsville GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many 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 school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain 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 sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Wrightsville 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Wrightsville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean 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 a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wrightsville GA contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out 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. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Wrightsville GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Wrightsville GA home. If you do opt to enroll in 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 welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wrightsville GA, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wrightsville GA?
Perhaps you live in the Wrightsville 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.
Wrightsville is a city in Johnson County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,757 at the 2010 census, up from 2,223 at the 2000 census. The city limits include Johnson State Prison on the northeast side of town. Wrightsville was established February 23, 1886, and was named for John B. Wright, one of the members of the committee responsible for selecting the site for the town. The city is the county seat of Johnson County.
Wrightsville is located west of the center of Johnson County at 32°43′30″N 82°43′13″W / 32.72500°N 82.72028°W / 32.72500; -82.72028 (32.725126, -82.720289).U.S. Route 319 passes through the city center on Elm Street; it leads northeast 19 miles (31 km) to Bartow and southwest 18 miles (29 km) to Dublin. State Routes 15 and 57 also pass through the center of Wrightsville. SR-15 leads north 19 miles (31 km) to Sandersville and southeast 17 miles (27 km) to Adrian, while SR-57 leads west 37 miles (60 km) to Irwinton and southeast 25 miles (40 km) to Swainsboro.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Wrightsville has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 2.20%, are water. The city is drained by tributaries of the Ohoopee River.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wrightsville GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School Wrightsville GA
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Wrightsville GA.