How to Select the Right Welder Trade School near Kingsland Georgia
Locating the right welding vocational school near Kingsland GA is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Kingsland GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Kingsland GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various 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 prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Kingsland GA area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. 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 following are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Kingsland GA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon 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 associations with local unions and various 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 help students find employment and establish associations within the Kingsland GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Kingsland GA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Kingsland 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 need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Kingsland GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kingsland GA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Kingsland GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Kingsland GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Kingsland Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The Kingsland Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places March 17, 1994. It includes the area surrounding South Lee Street between King Street and William Street.
Kingsland is located in southwestern Camden County at 30°47′41″N 81°40′18″W / 30.79472°N 81.67167°W / 30.79472; -81.67167 (30.794612, -81.671720), just north of the Florida line. It is bordered by St. Marys to the east. Interstate 95 runs through the eastern part of the city, with access from three exits. U.S. Route 17, an older highway running parallel to I-95, passes through the center of Kingsland. Jacksonville, Florida, is 36 miles (58 km) to the south, and Brunswick is 34 miles (55 km) to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, recent annexations by the city of large tracts of land have resulted in a total area of 45.0 square miles (116.5 km2), of which 42.7 square miles (110.7 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.8 km2), or 4.99%, is water. This recent growth makes Kingsland the twelfth largest city in the state of Georgia by land mass.
Find the Right Welding Technical School Kingsland GA
Selecting the right welder school will probably 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 Certificate Online. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Kingsland GA.