How to Select the Right Welding Certificate Program near Decatur Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Decatur 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Decatur GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Decatur GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Decatur GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Decatur GA for non-accredited schools. Also, 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. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Decatur GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy 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 affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Decatur GA contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 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 comparable to what you will be using 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 Decatur GA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Decatur GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Decatur GA, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Decatur GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious 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 Decatur GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Decatur Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Decatur is a city in, and the county seat of, DeKalb County, Georgia that is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. With a population of 20,148 in the 2013 census, the municipality is sometimes assumed to be larger since multiple ZIP Codes in unincorporated DeKalb County bear the Decatur name. The city is served by three MARTA rail stations. The city is located approximately 5 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta and shares its western border with Atlanta.
Decatur was established at the intersection of two Native American trails: the Sandtown, which led east from the Chattahoochee River at Utoy Creek, and the Shallowford, which follows today's Clairmont Road, and eventually crossed near Roswell. It was named for United States Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.
During the American Civil War, Decatur became a strategic site in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. In July 1864, Major-General James McPherson occupied the town to cut off the Confederates' supply line from Augusta. On July 22, during the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate cavalry under Major-General Joseph Wheeler attacked McPherson's supply wagons and the Union troops left to defend the wagons. A historical marker at the old courthouse marks the site of this skirmish.
Choose the Right Welding Tech Program Decatur GA
Choosing the right 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 Classes Near Me. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Decatur GA.
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