How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Dexter Georgia
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Dexter GA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Dexter 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 scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Dexter GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate 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 additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Dexter GA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should 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 below are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Dexter GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 establish associations within the Dexter 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 school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Dexter GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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 uncertain 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 Dexter GA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though 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 pick must be within driving distance of your Dexter GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dexter GA, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. 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 if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Dexter GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant 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 need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Dexter GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Dexter Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The first permanent settlement at Dexter was made in 1889. A post office has been in operation at Dexter since 1890. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1891 as the "Town of Dexter".
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.60%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 509 people, 207 households, and 143 families residing in the town. The population density was 670.4 people per square mile (258.6/km²). There were 231 housing units at an average density of 304.2 per square mile (117.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 77.41% White and 22.59% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Dexter GA
Choosing the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Dexter GA.