How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Tifton Georgia
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Tifton GA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Tifton GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Tifton GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Tifton GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Tifton GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder 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. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Tifton GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Tifton GA contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Tifton GA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Tifton GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers 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 profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tifton GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tifton GA?
Perhaps you live in the Tifton 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.
The area's public schools are administered by the Tift County School District, including two high schools. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has its main campus in Tifton. Southern Regional Technical College and the University of Georgia also have Tifton campuses.
Sites in the area include the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. The Tifton Residential Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Tifton Gazette is published three days a week in Tifton.
Tifton is located in south central Georgia along Interstate 75, which runs north to south through the city, leading north 167 mi (269 km) to Atlanta and south 45 mi (72 km) to Valdosta. Other highways that pass through the city include U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 319, and Georgia State Route 125.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Tifton GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most important 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 environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Vocational Program Tifton GA
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Tifton GA.