How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certificate Program near Summerfield Kansas
Locating the right welding school near Summerfield KS is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When 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 crucial considerations when evaluating welding vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Summerfield KS.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Summerfield KS employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected 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 attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Summerfield KS area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types 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 example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Summerfield KS for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must 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 assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Summerfield KS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement 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 select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Summerfield KS employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Summerfield KS welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Summerfield KS home. If you do choose to attend 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 welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple 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 profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Summerfield KS, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. 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 protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Summerfield KS area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses 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 critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Summerfield KS?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Summerfield Kansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Summerfield is located at 39°59′47″N 96°20′57″W / 39.99639°N 96.34917°W / 39.99639; -96.34917 (39.996439, -96.349249). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 156 people, 79 households, and 41 families residing in the city. The population density was 458.8 inhabitants per square mile (177.1/km2). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 314.7 per square mile (121.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.6% African American, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 79 households of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 48.1% were non-families. 39.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.68.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech Program Summerfield KS
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. 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 many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Summerfield KS.