How to Enroll In the Right Welding Trade School near Thomson Georgia
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Thomson GA is an important first step to launching 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Thomson GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Thomson GA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Thomson GA area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Thomson GA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Thomson GA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Thomson GA employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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 not sure 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 Thomson GA welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Thomson GA home. If you do opt 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 true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Thomson GA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Thomson GA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin 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. 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 experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Thomson GA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Thomson Georgia area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Thomson (originally called Slashes) is a city in McDuffie County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,778 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of McDuffie County. Thomson's nickname is "The Camellia City of the South", in honor of the thousands of camellia plants throughout the city. Thomson was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson and incorporated February 15, 1854 as a town and in 1870 as a city. It is part of the Augusta – Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Thomson, originally called Slashes, was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson. In 1870, Thomson was designated seat of the newly formed McDuffie County. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1870.
The Old Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its original design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the home is said to be the home of ancestors of former president Jimmy Carter.
Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Thomson GA
Choosing the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Evening Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Thomson GA.