How to Select the Right Welding Certification Program near Hinesville Georgia
Enrolling in the right welding school near Hinesville GA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Hinesville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Hinesville GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Hinesville GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 get a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hinesville GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered 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 reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Hinesville GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Hinesville GA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Hinesville GA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Hinesville GA home. If you do choose 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 true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hinesville GA, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hinesville GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover 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 important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Hinesville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hinesville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Hinesville is a city in Liberty County, Georgia, United States. The population was 33,437 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Liberty County. Nearby Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville are part of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area, which comprises all of Liberty County and neighboring Long County.
Hinesville was founded in 1837. That same year, the seat of Liberty County was transferred to Hinesville from Riceboro. It was incorporated as a city in 1916. The city is named for Charleton Hines, a state senator. A 2017 report by Business Insider listed Hinesville as the most boring city in Georgia, noting that there were only 25 full service restaurants, 4 bars, 13 hotels, and 0 museums in the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area.
Hinesville is located next to the Atlantic coast which has an abundance of coastal streams and waterways. It is known for its pine trees, oaks, deer, wild hogs, and other wildlife. The Cay Creek Wetlands is a waterway that sits in Midway, Georgia and Hinesville in which can be seen nature and the historical Liberty Trail. It is the second largest city on U.S. Route 84 in Georgia after Valdosta. It is 58 miles west from U.S. Route 84 eastern terminus and 275 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Hinesville was founded by Samuel Bethea Jr.
Choose the Right Welding Tech School Hinesville GA
Selecting the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding School Online. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several 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 evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer 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 need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hinesville GA.