How to Enroll In a Welding Trade School near Americus Kansas
Selecting the right welder trade school near Americus KS is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen welding 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 Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Americus KS.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Kansas trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach 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 complete and are most often offered by Kansas community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Americus KS.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Americus KS employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Americus KS employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain Americus KS area community colleges and vocational schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational Program
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Americus KS area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm 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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for Americus KS schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other Americus KS 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 develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Americus KS employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Americus KS welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Americus KS home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the Americus KS area welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Americus KS, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Welder?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask Welding prospects is "What made you choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Welding Tech, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational School near Americus KS
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Americus KS.
About Americus Kansas
Americus is a city in Lyon County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 896.
Americus was laid out in the fall of 1857. It was named for Amerigo Vespucci.
Americus was a station and shipping point on the Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad.
Americus is located at 38°30′23″N 96°15′35″W / 38.50639°N 96.25972°W / 38.50639; -96.25972 (38.506448, -96.259598). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.13 square miles (2.93 km2), of which, 1.12 square miles (2.90 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
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