How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Pelham Georgia
Locating the right welder vocational school near Pelham GA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Classes
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Pelham GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Pelham GA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely 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 choose preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Pelham GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at 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 instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Pelham GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must 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 assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Pelham GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Pelham GA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Pelham GA welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Pelham GA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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 wish 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 obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. 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 flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pelham GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Pelham GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful 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 Pelham GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Pelham Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Pelham is a city in Mitchell County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,898 at the 2010 census. Pelham is at the crossroads of US 19 and State Route 93 and is approximately 38 miles (61 km) south of Albany and about 26 miles (42 km) north of Thomasville.
Pelham has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by humid summers and mild winters. It receives 52 inches of rain per year. The average number of days with any measurable precipitation is 90. Pelham has on average 233 sunny days per year. The July high is around 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The January low is 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,126 people, 1,467 households and 999 families in the city. The population density was 1,019.2 people per square mile (393.3/km²). There were 1,591 housing units at an average density of 393.0 per square mile (151.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.13% African American, 41.66% White, 0.24% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.
Find the Best Welding Vocational Program Pelham GA
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn MIG Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Pelham GA.