How to Choose a Welder Certification Program near Dahlonega Georgia
Finding the ideal welding school near Dahlonega GA 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 determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when reviewing welder technical 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are several 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Dahlonega GA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by Georgia technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by Georgia community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder in Dahlonega GA.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Dahlonega GA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization 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 attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Dahlonega GA employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain Dahlonega GA area community colleges and technical schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover 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 setting.
How to Pick a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Dahlonega GA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select 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 an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select 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). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for Dahlonega GA non-accredited schools. 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 welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various Dahlonega GA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Dahlonega GA contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Dahlonega GA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Dahlonega GA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the Dahlonega GA area welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dahlonega GA, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Welding Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Welding position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Welding Tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Welding Vocational School near Dahlonega GA
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Dahlonega GA.
About Dahlonega Georgia
The city of Dahlonega is the county seat of Lumpkin County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,242.
Dahlonega is located at the north end of the Georgia 400, which connects Dahlonega to Atlanta. It is consistently named as a best place to retire by many different publications.
In 1828 Dahlonega was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States. The Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site stands in the middle of the town square, housed in the 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse. From its steps in 1849, Dahlonega Mint assayor Dr. M. F. Stephenson tried to persuade miners to stay in Dahlonega instead of joining the California Gold Rush, saying, "There's millions in it," famously misquoted as "There's gold in them thar hills."
Dahlonega is home to the main campus of the University of North Georgia.
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