Becoming An Underwater Welder Lexington KY

How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Lexington Kentucky

Lexington KY welding school graduateSelecting the ideal welder vocational school near Lexington KY is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select 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? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

Lexington KY welding trade school studentThere are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Lexington KY.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Lexington KY welder working in constructionThere are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lexington KY employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Work in compliance with contract specifications

As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.

Subjects to Ask Welder Tech Schools

Questions to ask Lexington KY welding schoolsOnce you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Lexington KY area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Lexington KY 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 Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon 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 partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Lexington KY welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lexington KY contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 Lexington KY welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Lexington KY home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs 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 Lexington KY, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Online Welding Schools

student attending welding classes online in Lexington KYWelding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lexington KY area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Attending a Welding School in Lexington KY?

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

Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington, consolidated with Fayette County and often denoted as Lexington-Fayette, is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the United States. By land area, Lexington is the 28th largest city in the United States. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," it is the heart of the state's Bluegrass region. It has a nonpartisan mayor-council form of government, with 12 council districts and three members elected at large, with the highest vote-getter designated vice mayor. In the 2017 U.S. Census Estimate, the city's population was 321,959, anchoring a metropolitan area of 512,650 people and a combined statistical area of 856,849 people.

Lexington ranks 10th among US cities in college education rate, with 39.5% of residents having at least a bachelor's degree.[3] It is the location of the Kentucky Horse Park, The Red Mile, and Keeneland race courses, Rupp Arena, Transylvania University, the University of Kentucky, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

This area of fertile soil and abundant wildlife was long occupied by varying tribes of Native Americans. European explorers began to trade with them, but settlers did not come in large numbers until the late 18th century.

Select the Right Welding Trade Program Lexington KY

Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Becoming An Underwater Welder. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lexington KY.

 

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