How to Choose the Right Welder Trade School near Lizella Georgia
Choosing the right welding trade school near Lizella GA is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Lizella GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Lizella GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Lizella GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select 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). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Lizella GA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships 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 Lizella GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in 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 school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Lizella GA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Lizella GA welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Lizella GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure 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 Lizella GA, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Lizella 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 initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Lizella GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lizella Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Lizella is an unincorporated community in Bibb and Crawford County, Georgia, United States, approximately 11 miles southwest of Macon. It is part of the Macon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lizella is home to a single post office, several churches, a fire station, a sheriff's sub-station, a small shopping center, a private swimming pool, a private baseball field, and a closed elementary school (W.B. Redding Elementary School). Also, U.S. Route 80 passes through Lizella.
Originally Warrior, a Native American settlement, it became a white settlement in 1821. Lizella was established circa 1891, when the Macon and Birmingham Railroad Co. laid tracks to LaGrange amid a collection of farms west of Macon. The community it formed was dubbed Lizella by postmaster James E. Eubanks, according to the history book 'Remembering Lizella.' Eubanks drew the name from his two daughters, Lizzie and Ella.
Lake Tobesofkee, less than a mile from Lizella, has three parks. Claystone and Sandy Beach Parks, located on Moseley-Dixon Road near I-475 and Arrowhead Park, located on Columbus Road near U.S. 80. Each Park features covered picnic pavilions, clean and well maintained grounds and ample restroom facilities.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade School Lizella GA
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Degree Online. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lizella GA.