How to Select a Welder Vocational School near Yatesville Georgia
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Yatesville GA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Yatesville GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Yatesville GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Yatesville GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Yatesville GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various 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 assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Yatesville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Yatesville GA contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Yatesville GA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Yatesville GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yatesville GA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Yatesville GA?
Perhaps you live in the Yatesville 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 408 people, 158 households and 124 families residing in the town. The population density was 465.0 people per square mile (179.0/km²). There were 175 housing units at an average density of 199.5 per square mile (76.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 75.74% White, 23.77% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.25% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population.
There were 159 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the town, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 29.2% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Yatesville GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide 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 use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Tech Program Yatesville GA
Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain 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 result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Yatesville GA.