How to Select the Right Welding Certification Program near Smyrna Georgia
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Smyrna GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Smyrna GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Smyrna GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Smyrna GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most 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 should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Smyrna GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Smyrna 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 welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Smyrna GA employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Smyrna GA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Smyrna GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might 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, 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Smyrna GA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Smyrna GA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have 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 expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Smyrna GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Smyrna Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Smyrna is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It is located northwest of Atlanta, and is in the inner ring of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 51,271. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2013 to be 53,438. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs–Roswell MSA, which is included in the Atlanta–Athens–Clarke–Sandy Springs CSA. Smyrna grew by 28% between the years 2000 and 2012. It is historically one of the fastest growing cities in the State of Georgia, and one of the most densely populated cities in the metro area.
Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. It was named by Greeks for the Biblical city of Smyrna, modern day Izmir in Turkey, the home of the famous Christian martyr Polycarp. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842, the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872—Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow, and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.
Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground and the Battle of Ruff's Mill, both on July 4, 1864. The area's businesses, homes and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.
Select the Right Welding Tech School Smyrna GA
Picking the ideal welder 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 Summer Welding Courses. 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 reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend 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, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Smyrna GA.
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