How to Select the Right Welding Degree Program near Carrollton Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welding trade school near Carrollton GA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Carrollton GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Carrollton GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Carrollton GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Carrollton GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place 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. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Carrollton 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 important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Carrollton GA employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities 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 on the job. If you are not sure 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 Carrollton GA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Carrollton GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working 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 go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Carrollton GA, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Carrollton GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Carrollton GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Carrollton Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Carrollton, Georgia is a city in the north west region of Georgia, about 45 miles (72 km) west of Atlanta near the Alabama state line. It is the county seat of Carroll County which is included in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Historically, Carrollton has been a commercial center for several mostly rural counties in both Georgia and Alabama. It is the home of the University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College. The 2016 United States Census estimates placed the city's population at 26,562.
Carrollton is located near the center of Carroll County at 33°34′51″N 85°4′36″W / 33.58083°N 85.07667°W / 33.58083; -85.07667 (33.580912, -85.076704). The Little Tallapoosa River flows through the northwestern part of the city. U.S. Route 27 passes through the city center, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Interstate 20 in Bremen and south 42 miles (68 km) to LaGrange.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Carrollton has a total area of 22.8 square miles (59.1 km2), of which 22.3 square miles (57.7 km2) is land and 0.54 square miles (1.4 km2), or 2.37%, is water.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Carrollton GA
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in College Welding Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Carrollton GA.