How to Pick a Welding Certification Program near Cobb Georgia
Enrolling in the ideal welding trade school near Cobb GA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in Cobb GA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Georgia trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by Georgia community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Cobb GA.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Cobb GA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Cobb GA employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain Cobb GA area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welder Trade School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Cobb GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for Cobb GA schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other Cobb GA 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate 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 an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Cobb GA contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Cobb GA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Cobb GA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the Cobb GA area welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Cobb GA, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent Welder and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School near Cobb GA
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Cobb GA.
About Cobb Georgia
Cobb County, Georgia
Cobb County is a suburban county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2015, the population was 741,334, making it Georgia's third-most populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta.
Cobb, along with several adjoining counties, was created on December 3, 1832, by the Georgia General Assembly from the huge Cherokee "county" territory—land northwest of the Chattahoochee River which the state confiscated from the Cherokee Nation and redistributed to settlers via lottery, following the passage of the federal Indian Removal Act. The county was named for Thomas Willis Cobb, a United States representative and senator from Georgia. It is believed Marietta was named for his wife, Mary.
Cobb County is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is situated immediately to the northwest of Atlanta's city limits.
Its Cumberland District, an edge city, has over 24,000,000 square feet (2,200,000 m2) of office space. As of 2017, Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves play in Cumberland.
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