How to Pick a Welder Vocational School near Woodstock Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Woodstock GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into 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 receive 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Woodstock GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Woodstock GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring 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, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Woodstock GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at 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 looked at. After all, the school you select 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 evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose 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 obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Woodstock GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Woodstock GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Woodstock GA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure 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 unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Woodstock GA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Woodstock GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm 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 Woodstock GA, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Woodstock GA?
Perhaps you live in the Woodstock 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.
Woodstock is a city in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 23,896 at the 2010 census. Originally a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Woodstock is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007 it was the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the United States.
Woodstock is located in southern Cherokee County at 34°6′5″N 84°31′10″W / 34.10139°N 84.51944°W / 34.10139; -84.51944 (34.100731, -84.518972).Interstate 575 passes through the western side of the city, with access from exits 7, 8, and 9. Downtown Atlanta is 30 miles (48 km) to the south, and Canton, the Cherokee County seat, is 11 miles (18 km) north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Woodstock has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.92%, is water.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Woodstock GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Trade Program Woodstock GA
Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Woodstock GA.
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Mr. Ayers has been teaching Welding Technology for North Georgia Technical College since 1996 and currently also serves as the Department Chair for Industrial Technology and Transportation. Prior to joining the faculty at NGTC, he had 12 years of occupational experience.
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We’ve prepared a table with info about the top 15 welding certification schools in Georgia. You should know that each school from the list was approved by the American Welding Society’s SENSE Accreditation Program. Normally, to participate in a training program you need to have a high-school diploma or GED. But still, you should know that there are some schools that accept 11th-grade students.
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Welding Trade Schools in Georgia - Welder Training
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