How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Lexington Georgia
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Lexington GA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Lexington GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Lexington GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Lexington GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Lexington 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 also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Lexington GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lexington GA contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lexington GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Lexington GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak 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 Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lexington GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lexington GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Lexington GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lexington Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Lexington was founded in 1800. That same year, the seat of Oglethorpe County was transferred to Lexington from Philomath. Lexington was incorporated as a town in 1806, and is named for Lexington, Massachusetts.
As of the census of 2000, there were 239 people, 101 households, and 65 families residing in the city. The population density was 439.6 people per square mile (170.9/km²). There were 115 housing units at an average density of 211.5 per square mile (82.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.71% White, 25.94% African American, 0.84% Native American, and 2.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.
There were 101 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.82.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Lexington GA
Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Technical Schools For Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Lexington GA.