How to Pick the Right Welder Certificate Program near Macon Georgia
Locating the ideal welding vocational school near Macon GA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when evaluating welder vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Macon GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Macon GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Macon GA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain 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 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Macon GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement 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 relationships within the Macon GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Macon GA contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Macon GA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Macon GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Macon GA, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Macon GA area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Macon GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Macon Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Macon (/ˈmeɪkən/), officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
Located near the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, Macon is the county seat of Bibb County and had a 2017 estimated population of 152,663. Macon is the principal city of the Macon metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 228,914 in 2017. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area (CSA), a larger trading area with an estimated 420,693 residents in 2017; the CSA abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north.
In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County, and Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Columbus). The two governments officially merged on January 1, 2014.
Find the Best Welding Vocational Program Macon GA
Choosing the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Marine Welding Schools. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Macon GA.