Welding Community College Abilene KS

How to Enroll In the Right Welder Degree Program near Abilene Kansas

Abilene KS welding school graduateFinding the ideal welder vocational school near Abilene KS is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses

Abilene KS welding trade school studentThere are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Abilene KS.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Abilene KS welder working in constructionThere are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Abilene KS employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As formerly mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you choose readies you for certification if needed.

Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools

Questions to ask Abilene KS welding schoolsAfter you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Abilene KS area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Abilene KS for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist 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 refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Abilene 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 complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in 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 high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Abilene KS contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Abilene KS welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Abilene KS home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Abilene KS, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Online Welder Training Programs

student attending welding classes online in Abilene KSWelding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Abilene KS area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Attending a Welding School in Abilene KS?

If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Abilene Kansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.

Abilene, Kansas

Abilene (pronounced /ˈæbɪliːn/)[7] is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States.[8] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.[9]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".[2]

Select the Ideal Welding Technical Program Abilene KS

Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Community College. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Abilene KS.

 

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