How to Choose the Right Welder Certificate Program near Milledgeville Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Milledgeville GA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select 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? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues 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 initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine 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 obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Milledgeville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. 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 additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Milledgeville GA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Milledgeville GA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Milledgeville 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. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Milledgeville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who enrolled 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Milledgeville GA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Milledgeville GA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Milledgeville GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with some of the teachers 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. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Milledgeville GA, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Milledgeville GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Milledgeville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Milledgeville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Milledgeville is a city in and the county seat of Baldwin County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is northeast of Macon and bordered on the east by the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. It was the capital of Georgia from 1804 to 1868, notably during the American Civil War. Milledgeville was preceded as the capital city by Louisville and was succeeded by Atlanta, the current capital. Today U.S. Highway 441 connects Milledgeville to Madison, Athens, and Dublin.
Milledgeville is along the route of the Fall Line Freeway, which is under construction to link Milledgeville with Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and other Fall Line cities. They have long histories from the colonial era of Georgia.
Milledgeville is the principal city of the Milledgeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that includes Baldwin and Hancock counties. It had a combined population of 54,776 at the 2000 census. The Old State Capitol is located here; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Much of the original city is contained within the boundaries of the Milledgeville Historic District, which was also added to the NRHP.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Milledgeville GA
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Aluminum Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Milledgeville GA.