How to Select the Right Welding Vocational School near Abilene Kansas
Finding the ideal welder school near Abilene KS is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students 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 important issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade 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.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Abilene KS area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Abilene KS employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned 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 attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Abilene KS area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two 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 furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Abilene KS 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 also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various 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 assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Abilene KS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Abilene KS employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Abilene KS welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Abilene KS home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local 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 manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Abilene KS, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Abilene KS area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Free Info on Accelerated Welder Training Near Me Abilene KS
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Free Info on Accelerated Welder Training Near Me and wanted more information on the topic Affordable Local Welder Training Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Abilene KS.
Other Kansas Welder Locations
Abilene (pronounced /ˈæbɪliːn/) is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is located in Abilene.
For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.
In 1857, Dickinson County was founded. Abilene began as a stage coach stop in the same year, established by Timothy Hersey and named Mud Creek. It wasn't until 1860 that it was named Abilene, from a passage in the Bible (Luke 3:1), meaning "city of the plains".