Associate Degree Welding Technology Somerset KY

How to Pick the Right Welding Training Class near Somerset Kentucky

Somerset KY welding school graduateSelecting the ideal welder school near Somerset KY is an important first step to beginning your new career 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? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to create 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.

Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

Somerset KY welding trade school studentThere are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Somerset KY.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Somerset KY welder working in constructionThere are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Somerset KY employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Perform based on contract specifications

As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification if needed.

Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Programs

Questions to ask Somerset KY welding schoolsOnce you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Somerset KY area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds 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 instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Somerset KY for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Somerset KY welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Somerset KY employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, 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 taught on are modern. 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Somerset KY welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Somerset KY home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 ultimately will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm 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 in the evenings or on weekends near Somerset KY, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select 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 responsibilities.

Online Welding Training Programs

student attending welding classes online in Somerset KYWelding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Somerset KY area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting 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 find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Attending a Welding School in Somerset KY?

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

Somerset, Kentucky

Somerset was first settled in 1798 by Thomas Hansford and received its name from Somerset County, New Jersey, where some of the early settlers had formerly lived. Somerset became the Pulaski County seat in 1802, and it was incorporated as a city in 1887. A significant Civil War battle was fought in January 1862, at Mill Springs (now "Nancy") about 8 miles (13 km) west of Somerset, and a museum is at the site. A smaller battle was fought nearby at Dutton's Hill in 1863. In 1875 tracks for the Southern Railroad were completed and Somerset saw a sudden population growth and an increase in industry.[2] In the late 1930s and early 1940s, library services were provided by the pack horse library.[3][4] The completion of Lake Cumberland in 1950 transformed Somerset from a sleepy rural community into one of the largest recreation centers in Kentucky, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors annually, especially between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.

Somerset is located at 37°4′59″N 84°36′34″W / 37.08306°N 84.60944°W / 37.08306; -84.60944 (37.082966, -84.609387),[5] and the downtown (central) part of the city is at an elevation of 974 feet above sea level. The city is located at the eastern end of Kentucky's Mississippian Plateau (or Pennyroyal Plateau); however, the micropolitan area extends eastward into the Appalachian Plateau (or Eastern Kentucky Coalfield), and northward to Kentucky's Outer Bluegrass region. Thus, the area shows significant variations in landforms and scenery.

Nearby Lake Cumberland is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world (101 miles in length, with an average depth of 85 feet (26 m) and a normal pool containing more than 2 trillion gallons of water). Somerset is also near Cumberland Falls and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; its tourism industries are, in part, due to its scenic and varied landscape.[6]

Pick the Right Welding Vocational School Somerset KY

Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Associate Degree Welding Technology. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Somerset KY.

 

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