How to Choose a Welder Technical School near Syracuse Kansas
Finding the right welding school near Syracuse KS is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing 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 the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs 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 typical welding programs available near Syracuse KS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by Syracuse KS area trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder in Syracuse KS.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Syracuse KS employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few 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 specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Syracuse KS employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation 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 until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship near Syracuse KS. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain 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 Select a Welder Vocational School
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 a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Syracuse KS area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the Syracuse KS welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various Syracuse KS metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Syracuse KS employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Syracuse KS welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Syracuse KS home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Syracuse KS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Being a Welder in Syracuse KS
Syracuse is located at 37°58′59″N 101°45′04″W / 37.982938°N 101.751224°W / 37.982938; -101.751224 (37.982938, -101.751224), along U.S. Route 50 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, sixteen miles (twenty-six kilometers) from the Colorado border. The Arkansas River runs just south of the City of Syracuse. The countryside south of the Arkansas River is marked by sandhills. Located within these sandhills is the "Syracuse Sand Dunes," a city park covering 1,300 acres (5.3 km2), including a 40-acre (160,000 m2) fishing pond.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,812 people, 715 households, and 460 families residing in the city. The population density was 442.0 inhabitants per square mile (170.7/km2). There were 832 housing units at an average density of 202.9 per square mile (78.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 76.7% White, 0.2% African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 19.4% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.7% of the population.
There were 715 households of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.7% were non-families. 31.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.23.
The median age in the city was 32.1 years. 28.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.
Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Syracuse KS
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Syracuse KS.