How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Valley Center Kansas
Choosing the ideal welding school near Valley Center KS is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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
There are several options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Valley Center KS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Valley Center KS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds 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, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Valley Center KS area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant 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 must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Valley Center KS for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 relationships within the Valley Center KS welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Valley Center KS contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Valley Center KS welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Valley Center KS home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Valley Center KS, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Valley Center KS area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have 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 possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Valley Center KS?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Valley Center Kansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Valley Center, Kansas
On the morning of July 17, 2007, a large explosion occurred at the Barton Solvents chemical plant in Valley Center, destroying the plant and forcing the temporary evacuation of the city. Cleanup began several weeks later, and the investigation was completed by mid-August.
Valley Center is located at 37°49′47″N 97°22′10″W / 37.82972°N 97.36944°W / 37.82972; -97.36944 (37.829719, -97.369341). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.95 square miles (18.00 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,822 people, 2,484 households, and 1,862 families residing in the city. The population density was 981.6 inhabitants per square mile (379.0/km2). There were 2,601 housing units at an average density of 374.2 per square mile (144.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.2% White, 0.8% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.6% of the population.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School Valley Center KS
Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Training Course. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Valley Center KS.