How to Enroll In the Best Welder Certification Class near Hays Kansas
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Hays KS is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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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Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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 short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Hays KS area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily 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 community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Hays KS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Hays KS area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example 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 recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Hays KS for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Hays KS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Hays KS employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Hays KS welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Hays KS home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to 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, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hays KS, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hays KS area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects 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 performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Affordable Local Trade Schools for Welders Near Me Hays KS
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Affordable Local Trade Schools for Welders Near Me and wanted more information on the topic Affordable Night Trade Schools for Welders Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hays KS.
Other Kansas Welder Locations
Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. The largest city in northwestern Kansas, it is the economic and cultural center of the region. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,510. It is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University.
Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Hays was located near where the territories of the Arapaho, Kiowa, and Pawnee met. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it lay within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. Kansas became a state in 1861, and the state government delineated the surrounding area as Ellis County in 1867.
In 1865, the U.S. Army established Fort Fletcher southeast of present-day Hays to protect stagecoaches traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. A year later, the Army renamed the post Fort Hays in honor of the late Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays. In late 1866, anticipating the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway as far west as Fort Hays, a party from St. Louis, Missouri led by William Webb selected three sections of land for colonization near the fort. In June 1867, to better serve the railroad, the Army relocated Fort Hays 15 miles northwest to a site near where the railroad was to cross Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River. Seeing a business opportunity, Buffalo Bill Cody and railroad contractor William Rose founded the settlement of Rome, Kansas near the fort's new location. Within a month, the population of Rome grew to over 2,000. Webb, meanwhile, established the Big Creek Land Company and then surveyed and platted a town site, which he named Hays City after the fort, roughly one mile east of Rome. The railroad reached Hays City soon thereafter and constructed a depot there. The railroad's arrival, combined with a cholera epidemic that hit Rome in the late summer of 1867, drove Rome businesses and residents to relocate to Hays City. Within a year, Rome was completely abandoned. As the western terminus of the railway, Hays City grew rapidly, serving as the supply point for territories to the west and southwest.