How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near Concord Georgia
Locating the ideal welder school near Concord GA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical 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 wise 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 Programs
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Concord GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Concord GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Concord GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds 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 pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Concord 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 as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Concord GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Concord GA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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 Concord GA welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Concord GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Concord GA, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Concord GA area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Concord GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Concord Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Concord". The community took its name from the Concord Primitive Baptist Church, which stood at the site since the early 1840s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 118 households, and 92 families residing in the town. The population density was 403.5 people per square mile (156.3/km²). There were 128 housing units at an average density of 153.7 per square mile (59.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 73.81% White, 24.70% African American, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 118 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.26.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School Concord GA
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Training. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Concord GA.