WHY NCCER IS WHERE ITS AT
If you know about NCCER then you understand why KWI was eager to adopt their curriculum and join their membership as an Accredited Training Facility. If you do not know about the National Center for Construction, Education and Research (NCCER) then read on and discover how attending KWI’s pipe welding certification program is a smart choice for your welding career.
NCCER was created in 1996 to revolutionize training for the construction industry. 11 of the nation’s leading contractors including Bechtel, Fluor, TIC, Brown & Root and Zachry came together to solve the nations skilled labor shortage. With the support of over 125 construction CEO’s, association and academic leaders NCCER sought to standardize training and create a credentialing program for a safe and productive workforce. Included in the first 5 craft curriculums introduced was a personal favorite of ours, welding. When you graduate from KWI’s pipe welding program the curriculum you complete includes transcripts that are loaded to your NCCER Blue Card. This card or your NCCER number can be used by companies and contractors to reference and verify your training transcripts and completed performance profiles.
Companies endorse NCCER’s standardized training because hiring a welder with Welding Level 3 transcripts means that the welder has completed both written and performance testing in all 4 of the major welding processes (SMAW, GTAW, GMAW, and FCAW) on plate and pipe and the 3 major thermal cutting processes (oxy-fuel, plasma, and carbon arc cutting). With NCCER you don’t tap out at head knowledge, but you are also required to perform skills applicable on the jobsite in order to add the coveted craft credentials to your NCCER Blue Card.
To become an NCCER Accredited Training Facility (ATF), KWI survived NCCER’s application process, audit team, and stringent train the trainer courses. As an ATF, KWI is held to the highest standard of educational excellence through strict guidelines, thorough lesson plans, a mastery of content knowledge and continuing audits of practice and record keeping.
KWI has grown with NCCER since the schools start in 2015. From starting as an ATF with 1 instructor, KWI now has 2 Master Trainers, 9 trained NCCER Welding Instructors and has expanded crafts taught during the Certified Pipe Program to include welding, pipefitting, boiler making, rigging and signal. All of this means that you are in great hands and both your training and resume will be packed with real world experience. In addition, KWI is an Accredited Assessment Center (AAC) testing site which allows KWI to verify knowledge and performance in order to award the NCCER Silver Card. The NCCER Silver Card essentially verifies journeymen level knowledge and skill and with many companies and contractors translates to additional pay per hour.
A quick look through the Industrial Projects Report (IPR) will show numerous companies in support of NCCER and their eagerness to get NCCER Silver Card welders with the hourly rate bonuses for them. Furthermore, KWI has recently become an NCCER Gold Card test site for Rigger and Signal certification. In 2018, OSHA mandated that all crane operators in construction be nationally certified and re-tested every 5 years.
KWI believes that eventually this mandate will be the same for Rigger and Signal personnel so giving you the opportunity to become a certified Rigger or Signal Person gives you an edge when it comes to beginning your career and staying employed in the welding industry. While you may not want to be employed as a rigger or signal person, welders are often used to help rig for and signal crane operators.
Now that you understand why companies respect and seek NCCER trained welders it is easy to see that training at KWI’s NCCER training center is the smart choice if you are considering a career in welding. If you’re considering a welding school that doesn’t offer NCCER training, then understand that their curriculum isn’t nationally standardized with a training and certification cycle that companies and contractors recognize and respect. Why risk your future on anything other than the best? Train at a facility who can award NCCER Blue, Silver and Gold Cards- train with KWI.