How to Pick the Right Welding Technical School near Cornelia Georgia
Locating the right welder trade school near Cornelia GA is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Cornelia GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Cornelia GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Cornelia GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Cornelia GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Cornelia GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Cornelia GA contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Cornelia GA welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Cornelia GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cornelia GA, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Cornelia GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important 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 performed online. These skills have 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 obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Cornelia GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Cornelia Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,160 at the 2010 census, up from 3,674 at the 2000 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk-shaped monument. Cornelia was the retirement home of baseball legend Ty Cobb who was born nearby, and was a base of operation for production of the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase that was filmed along the Tallulah Falls Railway that ran from Cornelia northward along the rim of Tallulah Gorge to Franklin, North Carolina.
Cornelia is located in southern Habersham County at 34°30′49″N 83°31′51″W / 34.51361°N 83.53083°W / 34.51361; -83.53083 (34.513716, -83.530942). It is bordered to the east by Mount Airy and to the southwest by Baldwin.
Cornelia was originally called "Blaine", and under the latter name had its start in the early 1870s when the Charlotte Airline Railroad was extended to that point. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Cornelia".
Find the Best Welding Tech School Cornelia GA
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Course. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training 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 talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Cornelia GA.