How to Choose the Right Welding Degree Program near Stockton Kansas
Locating the right welding vocational school near Stockton KS is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. 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 crucial concerns when evaluating welder technical 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 selected 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
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Stockton KS.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often 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 states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Stockton KS employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Stockton KS area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Stockton KS for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Stockton KS welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Stockton KS employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught 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. If not, ask a local Stockton KS welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Stockton KS home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Stockton KS, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Stockton KS area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Stockton KS?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Stockton Kansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Stockton was founded in 1872. A large share of the first settlers were cattle dealers, or stockmen, and they named their new home Stocktown, or as it soon became Stockton. Stockton was incorporated as a city in 1879.
Stockton is located on the natural trail up the valley of the South Solomon River and where the military supply trail from Fort Kearney, Nebraska, to Fort Hays, Kansas, crossed the South Solomon River. Stockton survived & grew during the thirteen years from founding until the arrival of the railroad in 1885.
Stockton is located at 39°26′11″N 99°16′18″W / 39.43639°N 99.27167°W / 39.43639; -99.27167 (39.436328, -99.271641). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.23 square miles (5.78 km2), all of it land.
Select the Right Welding Technical School Stockton KS
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Maritime Welding Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain 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 end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Stockton KS.