How to Select a Welder Training Program near Sylvania Georgia
Selecting the right welding trade school near Sylvania GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Sylvania GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take 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 two years to finish and are most often 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure 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 need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Sylvania GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Tech School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Sylvania GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school 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 may want to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Sylvania GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. 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 partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place 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 develop relationships within the Sylvania GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Sylvania GA employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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 Sylvania GA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Sylvania GA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some 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.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Sylvania GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Sylvania GA?
Perhaps you live in the Sylvania 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 was inhabited for thousands of years by various cultures of indigenous peoples. By the time of European encounter, it was occupied by the Yuchi peoples, but some Creeks, the Uchee's allies, moved into the area during Colonial times.
The European-American town of Sylvania was founded in 1790 by settlers' migrating to the area after the American Revolutionary War. The town took its name from the Latin term for "place in the woods."
Sylvania was part of the Black Belt of Georgia, developed for cultivation after the cotton gin made it easier to handle short-fiber cotton. Cotton was the most important commodity crop until late in the 19th century. Planters imported many enslaved African Americans to cultivate the crops. By 1830 the county was filled with people. The county seat was moved from Jacksonborough to Sylvania in 1847.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Sylvania GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Best Welding Tech School Sylvania GA
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Sylvania GA.