How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Clarendon Arkansas
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Clarendon AR is an important first step to launching 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 choices, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welder 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Clarendon AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Clarendon AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Clarendon AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Clarendon AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place 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. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Clarendon AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Clarendon AR employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Clarendon AR welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Clarendon AR home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate 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 should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clarendon AR, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Clarendon AR area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Clarendon AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Clarendon Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Clarendon is a city in, and the county seat of, Monroe County, Arkansas, United States. Located in the Arkansas Delta, the city's position on the White River at the mouth of the Cache River has defined the community since first incorporating in 1859. Although the river has brought devastation and disaster to the city occasionally throughout history, it has also provided economic opportunities, transportation, recreation and tourism to the city.
Once home to a variety of industries, today Clarendon's economy is largely based on agriculture. Similar to many Delta communities, the city's population has been dwindling since mechanization on the farm reduced the number of agricultural-related jobs in the area. At the 2010 Census, the population was 1,664, the lowest value recorded since 1890.
The area around Clarendon was originally populated by various Native American groups. By 1799, French hunters and trappers had built cabins at the mouth of the Cache River. It was the point where The Military Road from Memphis, Tennessee to Little Rock crossed the White River. The Military Road was begun in 1826 and completed in 1828. By that date, a ferry crossing and post office had been established in Clarendon, and the town served as the terminus for a stagecoach line to the west. The Military Road was used as the route for some groups of Native Americans being relocated from eastern states to Oklahoma during the forced relocations commonly known as the Trail of Tears; Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Cherokee groups are known to have traveled along it. A railroad bridge across the White River was constructed in 1883 by the Texas and St. Louis Railway; the ferry operated until 1931 when it was replaced by a highway bridge.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech Program Clarendon AR
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Night Welding Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out 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 school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Clarendon AR.