How to Choose the Right Welding Training Program near Colby Kansas
Locating the ideal welding school near Colby KS is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade 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 cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Colby KS area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
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Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Colby KS employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills 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
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Colby KS area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Colby KS for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Colby KS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Colby KS employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Colby KS welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Colby KS home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might 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 an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical 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 personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Colby KS, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify 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 work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Colby KS area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, 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 must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Free Info on Evening Schools for Welders Colby KS
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Free Info on Evening Schools for Welders and wanted more information on the topic Affordable Online Schools for Welders. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Colby KS.
Other Kansas Welder Locations
In 1882, a post office was established near the center of Thomas County. Area homesteaders lived under harsh conditions in sod houses, creating demand for a town to provide lumber and other provisions to incoming settlers. J.R. Colby, a local land assessor and preacher, obtained a patent to establish the town in April 1884, and land was acquired for the town site three miles north of the post office in March 1885. The following month, the Kansas Secretary of State issued the Town Charter. Kansas Gov. John Martin named Colby the county seat in 1885, and the city was incorporated in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad reached the city in 1887, and the Rock Island Railroad followed the next year.
In 1941 the St. Thomas Hospital was built as part of the Works Progress Administration plan to build hospitals. This was one of 130 new hospitals to be built with these funds, it was one of two built in Kansas alone. Within the last couple of years, it was renovated to apartments under the name St. Thomas Historic Residences. 
Colby is located at 39°23′32″N 101°02′51″W / 39.392093°N 101.047532°W / 39.392093; -101.047532 (39.392093, -101.047532) at an elevation of 3,159 feet (963 m). It lies on the south side of Prairie Dog Creek, a tributary of the Republican River, in the High Plains region of the Great Plains. A small tributary of the creek flows northeast through the town. Located at the interchange of Interstate 70 and K-25 in northwestern Kansas, Colby is 212 mi (341 km) east-southeast of Denver, 232 mi (373 km) northwest of Wichita, and 347 mi (558 km) west of Kansas City.