Technical Schools For Welding Oakley KS

How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Program near Oakley Kansas

Oakley KS welding school graduateFinding the right welding vocational school near Oakley KS is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welding vocational 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 develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses

Oakley KS welding trade school studentThere are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Oakley KS.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Oakley KS welder working in constructionThere are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Oakley KS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things 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 kinds of welds
  • Operate in compliance with contract specifications

As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.

What to Ask Welding Vocational Schools

Questions to ask Oakley KS welding schoolsOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Oakley KS area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn 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 choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Oakley KS for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction 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 considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Oakley KS welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Oakley KS employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Oakley KS welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Oakley KS home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm 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 at night or on weekends near Oakley KS, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 due to work, sickness or family circumstances.

Online Welder Training

student attending welding classes online in Oakley KSWelding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Oakley KS area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need 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 knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Attending a Welding School in Oakley KS?

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

Oakley, Kansas

The area that would later become Oakley was initially settled in the 1870s and 1880s by travelers from the Smoky Hill Trail. Oakley was founded in 1884 by Judge Fredman and David D. Hoag. Originally named Carlyle, its name was changed to Cleveland, before settling on its final name of Oakley in 1885, named after Hoag's mother, Elizabeth Oakley Gardner Hoag.[8]

Oakley is located at 39°7′41″N 100°51′16″W / 39.12806°N 100.85444°W / 39.12806; -100.85444 (39.128023, -100.854490) at an elevation of 3,064 feet (934 m).[5][9] It lies roughly 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the South Fork of the Saline River in the High Plains region of the Great Plains.

The city is located at the intersection of Interstate 70, U.S. Route 40, and U.S. Route 83 in northwest Kansas. It is in the northeast corner of Logan County, and portions of it extend into Gove County and Thomas County. Oakley is approximately 211 miles (340 km) northwest of Wichita, 227 miles east-southeast of Denver, and 335 miles (539 km) west of Kansas City.[10]

Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Oakley KS

Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly 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 Technical Schools For Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short 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 school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Oakley KS.

 

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