How to Find the Right Welder Training Class near Stone Mountain Georgia
Selecting the right welder vocational school near Stone Mountain GA is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Stone Mountain GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Stone Mountain GA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements 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 an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Stone Mountain GA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 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 make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Stone Mountain 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 also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Stone Mountain GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Stone Mountain GA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Stone Mountain GA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Stone Mountain GA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Stone Mountain GA, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Stone Mountain GA area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed 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 expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Stone Mountain GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Stone Mountain Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,368 according to the 2017 US Census estimate. Stone Mountain is located in the eastern part of DeKalb County and is a suburb of Atlanta that encompasses nearly 1.7 square miles. It lies near and touches the western base of the geological formation Stone Mountain. Locals often refer to the city as Stone Mountain Village to distinguish it from the larger unincorporated area traditionally considered Stone Mountain and Stone Mountain Park.
The history of Stone Mountain began long before white European settlers and the Creek Indians before them. Evidence of numerous earlier Native American tribes, including mound builders, have been found in the area of the mountain.
The Treaty of Indian Springs in 1821 opened a large swath of Georgia for settlement by European Americans on former Creek Indian land, including present-day Stone Mountain Village. In 1822, the area that now makes up the city was made a part of the newly formed DeKalb County. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then hike up the 1.3-mile (2.1 km) mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club. By 1850, Stone Mountain had become a popular destination of Atlanta urbanites who would endure the 4-hour round trip via rail just to experience its natural beauty, fine lodging, and attractions. 
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Stone Mountain GA
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Stainless Steel Welding Course. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Stone Mountain GA.
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