How to Select the Right Welding Trade School near South Fulton Tennessee
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near South Fulton TN is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to create 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the South Fulton TN.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many South Fulton TN employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the South Fulton TN area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important 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 should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in South Fulton TN for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 develop relationships within the South Fulton TN welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of South Fulton TN contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local South Fulton TN welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your South Fulton TN home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near South Fulton TN, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater South Fulton TN area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to 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 come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in South Fulton TN?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the South Fulton Tennessee area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
South Fulton, Tennessee
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,517 people, 1,081 households, and 729 families residing in the city. The population density was 814.4 people per square mile (314.5/km²). There were 1,199 housing units at an average density of 388.0 per square mile (149.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.98% White, 19.47% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.56% of the population.
There were 1,081 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.
Select the Ideal Welding Trade School South Fulton TN
Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Welding Programs. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in South Fulton TN.