How to Enroll In a Welder Training Class near Wilmore Kentucky
Selecting the right welding school near Wilmore KY is an essential first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations 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 beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Wilmore KY.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. 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 supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Wilmore KY employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Wilmore KY area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Wilmore KY for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Wilmore KY welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wilmore KY employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wilmore KY welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Wilmore KY 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 the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wilmore KY, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wilmore KY?
Perhaps you live in the Wilmore 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.
Wilmore is a home rule-class city in Jessamine County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 5,920 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lexington–Fayette Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km2), all of it land.
In 1882, the Southern Railway established a line through the county and located a flag stop at Wilmore which was briefly called "Scott's Station". It was named for John D. Scott, the owner of the site. The station's name was soon changed to Wilmore.
By the 1890s, Wilmore was a prosperous settlement with a population of about 600. Wilmore was an important shipping point for cattle, hogs, grain and other produce, and the settlement had a blacksmith, carriage repair shops, two drug stores, three doctors, three large stores, a hardware store, two butcher shops, a livery stable, a school, several churches, a glass mill, and a grist mill. Asbury University (formerly Asbury College) was founded in 1890.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wilmore KY area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. However, 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 have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical School Wilmore KY
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wilmore KY.