How to Select the Right Welding Certification Class near Cedartown Georgia
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Cedartown GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Cedartown GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop 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 finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Cedartown GA employers not only require 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 upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Cedartown GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Cedartown GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Cedartown GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Cedartown GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure 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 Cedartown GA welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Cedartown GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Cedartown GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Cedartown GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate 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. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Cedartown GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Cedartown Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Cedartown is a city in Polk County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,750. The city is the county seat of Polk County. Cedartown is the principal city of and is included in the Cedartown, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, Georgia-Alabama (part) Combined Statistical Area.
The Cedartown Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cedartown Waterworks-Woman's Building-Big Spring Park Historic District is also listed along with the Northwest Cedartown Historic District and South Philpot Street Historic District.
Cherokee and Creek Native Americans first inhabited the area known as Cedar Valley. The Cherokee people had established a village there in the 1830s after the Native Americans were forced out on the Trail of Tears. The settlement was named for the red cedar timber near the site.
Find the Right Welding Trade Program Cedartown GA
Choosing the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend 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 right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Cedartown GA.