How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Whitley City Kentucky
Locating the right welding vocational school near Whitley City KY 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 alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Whitley City KY.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Whitley City KY employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected 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 things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Whitley City KY area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Whitley City KY for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Whitley City KY welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled 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 quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Whitley City KY employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Whitley City KY welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Whitley City KY home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whitley City KY, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Whitley City KY?
Perhaps you live in the Whitley City Kentucky area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Whitley City, Kentucky
Whitley City is a census-designated place (CDP) in McCreary County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 1,170 at the 2010 census. Despite its name, it is not an incorporated city; however, it is the county seat of McCreary County. Whitley City is one of two non-city county seats in Kentucky (the other being Burlington in Boone County). This is due to McCreary County not having any cities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), of which 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) is land and 0.43% is water. Yahoo Falls on the course of Yahoo Creek is located here.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,111 people, 458 households, and 296 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 481.5 people per square mile (185.7/km²). There were 516 housing units at an average density of 223.7 per square mile (86.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.92% White, 0.72% Native American, 0.09% from other races, and 0.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Whitley City KY area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical 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 done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Trade Program Whitley City KY
Selecting the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Whitley City KY.