How to Pick the Right Welding Training Program near Hiawassee Georgia
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Hiawassee 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 determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Hiawassee GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Hiawassee GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Trade Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Hiawassee GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Hiawassee GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Hiawassee GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Hiawassee GA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Hiawassee GA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Hiawassee GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hiawassee GA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hiawassee GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Hiawassee GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hiawassee Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hiawassee is the county seat of Towns County, Georgia, United States. The community's population was 880 at the 2010 census. Its name is derived from the Cherokee—or perhaps Creek—word Ayuhwasi, which means meadow, (A variant spelling, "Hiwassee," is used for the local river and some other Appalachian place names.)
Settled circa 1820, Hiawassee was designated seat of the newly formed Towns County in 1856. It was incorporated as a town in 1870 and as a city in 1916.  Hiawassee was originally inhabited by predominately Cherokee-speaking peoples, but the myth that the town was named after a Cherokee or otherwise Native American princess is false and is as mythical as the Cherokee princess herself. Hiawassee’s name is nature-based, as mentioned above.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 880 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 95.2% White, 0.3% Black, 0.1% Native American, 1.3% Asian and 0.3% from two or more races. 2.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Hiawassee GA
Choosing the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Associates Degree. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hiawassee GA.