How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near Homerville Georgia
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Homerville GA is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Homerville GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Homerville GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Tech Schools
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Homerville GA area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding trade 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 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Homerville GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Homerville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Homerville GA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Homerville GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Homerville GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several 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 have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Homerville GA, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Homerville GA area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must 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 expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Homerville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Homerville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Homerville is a city in Clinch County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,456 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 12.38% from its population of 2,803 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Clinch County. Homerville was incorporated February 15, 1869.
Clinch County was created on February 14, 1850, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, and was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a decorated United States brigadier general and Georgia congressman who had recently died. Clinch, Georgia's 95th county, was formed from land originally inhabited by the Oconee people and consolidated portions of Ware County and Lowndes County. The act creating the county named Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichol, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sirmans, and John J. Johnson as commissioners charged with selecting a county seat and constructing a courthouse.
The designated commissioners quickly settled on a site just southwest of the present-day Homerville, and in memory of President James K. Polk decided to name the county seat "Polk". Two years later, however, the Georgia General Assembly inexplicably changed the name of the county seat to "Magnolia", just as the county's first courthouse was completed. The first courthouse was quite small and was destroyed in 1856 when a citizen, presumably dissatisfied with legal proceedings brought against him, decided to destroy the courthouse by fire.
Pick the Ideal Welding Trade School Homerville GA
Choosing the best welder school will probably 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 Welding Certification Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on 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 right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Homerville GA.