How to Select the Right Welder Training Program near Dahlonega Georgia
Choosing the right welding technical school near Dahlonega GA is an essential first step to starting 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding vocational 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Dahlonega GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach 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 2 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 diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Dahlonega GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Dahlonega GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Dahlonega GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Dahlonega GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator 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 Dahlonega GA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment 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 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. If not, ask a local Dahlonega GA welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Dahlonega GA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. 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 see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present 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 Dahlonega GA, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Dahlonega GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Dahlonega GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Dahlonega Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
In 1828 Dahlonega was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States. The Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site stands in the middle of the town square, housed in the 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse. From its steps in 1849, Dahlonega Mint assayor Dr. M. F. Stephenson tried to persuade miners to stay in Dahlonega instead of joining the California Gold Rush, saying, "There's millions in it," famously misquoted as "There's gold in them thar hills."
The area of Dahlonega was home to many Creek and Cherokee. There are few Creek and Cherokee descendants in Dahlonega today. Most of the descendants are Cherokee of mixed race. Names such as Corn, Davis, Chambers, Dover, Chattin, and Bird are associated with these lines of Cherokee blood. Surnames like Thrasher are of Creek blood. The Cherokee called the area ᏓᎶᏂᎨ or Da-lo-ni-ge, which means "yellow" (from the Dikaneisdi (Word List) of the Cherokee Language).
George Featherstonhough, an English geologist who visited the town in 1837, observed that the courthouse, designed by Ephriam Clayton, was built upon a broad expanse of hornblende slate "and that the soil of the public square was impregnated with small specks of gold." The courthouse building was paid for in part with gold bullion. It was made of bricks likely made locally, although possibly transported from Augusta. The foundation stone and timber were obtained locally.
Find the Best Welding Vocational Program Dahlonega GA
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Programs. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind 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 offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach 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 a few 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, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Dahlonega GA.