How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Tonganoxie Kansas
Selecting the right welding technical school near Tonganoxie KS is an important first step to beginning 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 narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered near Tonganoxie KS.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Tonganoxie KS area technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by Kansas community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Tonganoxie KS.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Tonganoxie KS employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Tonganoxie KS employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Tonganoxie KS. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Tonganoxie KS area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Tonganoxie KS welding trade 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 example Welding Technology. So verify 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various Tonganoxie 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 establish associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Tonganoxie KS employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Tonganoxie KS welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Tonganoxie KS home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask 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 feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tonganoxie KS, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Being a Welder in Tonganoxie KS
Tonganoxie (pronounced /tɒŋɡəˈnɒksi/) is a city in Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States. The current population of Tonganoxie, KS is around 5,326 as of 2016; and has doubled since 2000 according to the League of Kansas Municipalities. The city is classified as a City of the Second Class.
Tonganoxie was platted in 1866. It was named for a local Native American Chief from the Delaware Tribe whose name means "shorty" in the Delaware language. Tonganoxie was incorporated as a city in the late 1870s.
Tonganoxie is located at 39°6′32″N 95°5′13″W / 39.10889°N 95.08694°W / 39.10889; -95.08694 (39.108880, -95.086885). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.67 square miles (9.51 km2), of which 3.66 square miles (9.48 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Tonganoxie has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Tonganoxie KS
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Tonganoxie KS.