How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Arkadelphia Arkansas
Choosing the ideal welding trade school near Arkadelphia AR is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Arkadelphia AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 offers 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 states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Arkadelphia AR employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Arkadelphia AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic 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 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Arkadelphia AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Arkadelphia AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Arkadelphia AR contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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 Arkadelphia AR welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Arkadelphia AR home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree 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 local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple 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 working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Arkadelphia AR, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Arkadelphia AR area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Arkadelphia AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Arkadelphia Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,714. The city is the county seat of Clark County. It is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.
The site was settled in about 1809 by John Hemphill, operator of a nearby salt works, Arkansas's first industry. It was known as Blakelytown until 1839, when the settlement adopted the name Arkadelphia. Origin of the name "Arkadelphia" is uncertain. One possibility is that it was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning "brother/place".
Another explanation of the name is a combination of "adelphia" for place and "arc." Arkadelphia was once known as the "City of Rainbows", perhaps because the humid climate often resulted in rain.
Choose the Right Welding Technical Program Arkadelphia AR
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Training Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Arkadelphia AR.