How to Find the Right Welder Certificate Program near Snellville Georgia
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Snellville GA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Snellville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Snellville GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Snellville GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, 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 career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose 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 ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Snellville GA for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Snellville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality 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 Snellville GA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three options, 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 up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Snellville GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Snellville GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Snellville GA, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Snellville GA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed 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 would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Snellville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Snellville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Snellville is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States, east of Atlanta. The population was 18,242 at the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 19,733. It is a developed suburb of Atlanta and a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
In 1874 Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, seventeen-year-old friends from London, secretly planned a voyage to the New World. On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles, left England. However, Snell's parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn't allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure. The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1, and after a few weeks headed toward Athens, Georgia, and then to Madison County, where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month. Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them. The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville. Shortly after Snell's arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the South and settling in Alabama, where he went into the turpentine business. James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878, when he returned to England to claim his inheritance. Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia, and then Gwinnett County. Once in Gwinnett County, Sawyer found Snell in the small settlement then known as New London, near Stone Mountain. In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer's Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London. As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell's likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods. By the end of 1879, the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville. Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer's" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day's travel. It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners' store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising, and the young town began to show a promising future.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School Snellville GA
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Diploma Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs 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 training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Snellville GA.
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