College Welding Oakland KY

How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Oakland Kentucky

Oakland KY welding school graduateFinding the right welding vocational school near Oakland KY is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

Oakland KY welding trade school studentThere are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Oakland KY.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Oakland KY welder working in constructionThere are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Oakland KY employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you select preps you for certification if needed.

Questions to Ask Welder Tech Programs

Questions to ask Oakland KY welding schoolsOnce you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Oakland KY area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Oakland KY for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Oakland KY welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Oakland KY contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Oakland KY welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Oakland KY home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one 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. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools 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 receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Oakland KY, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Online Welder Classes

student attending welding classes online in Oakland KYWelding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Oakland KY area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Attending a Welding School in Oakland KY?

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

Oakland, Kentucky

Oakland is located at 37°2′30″N 86°14′58″W / 37.04167°N 86.24944°W / 37.04167; -86.24944 (37.041675, -86.249344).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all land. The city is situated northeast of Bowling Green in an area bordered by U.S. Route 68 on the south, and extending northward in the direction of U.S. Route 31W. Interstate 65 passes south of Oakland. The city of Smiths Grove lies just to the east.

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 260 people, 102 households, and 79 families residing in the city. The population density was 188.1 people per square mile (72.7/km²). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 77.4 per square mile (29.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.08% White, 11.54% African American, and 0.38% from two or more races.

There were 102 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.8% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.88.

Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Oakland KY

Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in College Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Oakland KY.

 

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