How to Find the Right Welder Certificate Program near Thomasville Georgia
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Thomasville GA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Thomasville GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check 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 supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Thomasville GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring 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 experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Thomasville GA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as 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 getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Thomasville GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships 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 establish relationships within the Thomasville GA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Thomasville GA employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate 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 in the field. 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 Thomasville GA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Thomasville GA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville GA, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Thomasville GA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want 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 very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Thomasville GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Thomasville Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.
In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second best historic small town on USA Today's 10 Best List Reader's Choice after Bisbee (Arizona) but ahead of Abingdon (Virginia), Mackinac Island (Michigan), and Astoria (Oregon).
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.
Select the Right Welding Technical School Thomasville GA
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in MIG TIG Welding Courses. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Thomasville GA.