How to Enroll In the Right Welding Degree Program near Rabun Gap Georgia
Selecting the right welding trade school near Rabun Gap GA is an essential first step to starting your new occupation 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 choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to establish 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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 summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Rabun Gap GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Rabun Gap GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Rabun Gap GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Rabun Gap GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Rabun Gap GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might 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 caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Rabun Gap GA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Rabun Gap GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Rabun Gap GA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. 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.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rabun Gap GA, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Rabun Gap GA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Rabun Gap GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Rabun Gap Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School (informally known as Rabun Gap) is a small, private college preparatory school located in Rabun County, Georgia, United States, in the Appalachian Mountains. It is both a boarding and a day school. Rabun Gap is notable for initiating the Foxfire magazine project in 1966, experiential education based on interviewing local people, and writing and publishing articles about their stories and oral traditions. This inspired numerous schools across the country to develop similar programs.
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is one of the largest coeducational, college-preparatory boarding schools in the South, serving boarding and day students in grades 5–12, and in the 2017-2018 school year, it will be pre-K 4–12th, after the turn of the admissions/business office to an elementary school. Located in Rabun Gap, the 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) campus is cradled in the mountains of northeast Georgia. The school combines a strong academic program, mountain setting, and Presbyterian heritage to nurture and challenge students of diverse backgrounds as they prepare for college and a lifetime of service.
Andrew Jackson Ritchie, a Rabun County native, and his wife, Addie Corn Ritchie, founded the Rabun Gap Industrial School in 1903 to serve the children of the isolated and poverty-stricken community Rabun Gap. With $1 and a personal note, Ritchie bought a 5-acre (20,000 m2) hilltop for the school. Construction began on the two-story main building, designed by Atlanta architect Haralson Bleckley (son of Rabun County native Logan Bleckley), with pledges of cash support and manual labor. The school was open to both boys and girls.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Rabun Gap GA
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly 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 Degrees And Programs. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Rabun Gap GA.