How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Hawkinsville Georgia
Enrolling in the right welder vocational school near Hawkinsville GA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Hawkinsville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Hawkinsville GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Hawkinsville GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Hawkinsville GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction 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. The 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Hawkinsville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hawkinsville GA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Hawkinsville GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Hawkinsville GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of 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 evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hawkinsville GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Hawkinsville GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner 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. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must 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 expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Hawkinsville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hawkinsville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hawkinsville is known as the "Harness Horse Capital" of Georgia. The Lawrence Bennett Harness Horse Racing facility is owned by the city and serves as an important training ground during winter months. The Harness Festival takes place every April at the end of training before horses head north for the harness racing season.
Hawkinsville was founded by European Americans in 1830. That same year, the seat of Pulaski County was transferred to Hawkinsville from Hartford. The community was named for Benjamin Hawkins, delegate to the Continental Congress, and the United States Indian Agent in the Southeast, appointed by President George Washington.
The city includes Hawkinsville High School and several historical sites, including Hawkinsville City Hall-Auditorium, Hawkinsville Public School, the Merritt-Ragan House, the Pulaski County Courthouse, and Taylor Hall. St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized after the American Civil War as one of hundreds of AME churches planted in the South by missionaries from the first black independent denomination in the United States, founded in the early 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawkinsville is also home to the historic Hawkinsville Opera House.
Pick the Best Welding Technical School Hawkinsville GA
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Schools For Underwater Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. 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 ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hawkinsville GA.