How to Enroll In the Right Welder Certificate Program near Des Arc Arkansas
Enrolling in the right welding vocational school near Des Arc AR is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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 Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Des Arc AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Des Arc AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization 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 skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Technical Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Des Arc AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Des Arc 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 as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Des Arc AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Des Arc AR employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Des Arc AR welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Des Arc AR home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Des Arc AR, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Des Arc AR area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Des Arc AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Des Arc Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Des Arc, Arkansas
Des Arc is a city on the White River in the Arkansas Delta, United States. It is the largest city in Prairie County, and the county seat for the county's northern district. Incorporated in 1854, Des Arc's position on the river has shaped its culture, history, and economy, beginning as a major lumber shipping port but leaving the city vulnerable to major floods in 1927 and 1937. As river shipping declined, Des Arc was bypassed by railroads, Interstate highways, and much of the post-industrial society. Des Arc's history is preserved by seven listings on the National Register of Historic Places, and the region's history is interpreted at Lower White River State Park. The city's population stopped growing in the 1980s and has been declining since, with a population of 1,717 at the 2010 Census.
White settlement in the area began in the Lower White River Valley while the area was within French Louisiana, which lasted from 1686-1763. French from Canada and South Louisiana passed through the area while hunting and trapping bears and other animals. They shipped furs and bear oil downriver to Arkansas Post, which was the only established settlement in the region, then likely onto New Orleans. During this period, several places were named by the French, including Des Arc and other places in Prairie County such as La Grue.
Des Arc was founded in 1854. A map shows the original town included 80 residential blocks, and two blocks for a commercial district. The gridded street pattern has never been fully developed, though most of the streets and blocks match the 1854 plan. The gridded east-west street pattern began with a street named McNulty Street in the north, near where present-day Highway 38 is located along the northern edge of the city. The southernmost east-west street was Barrier Street. The town ran from Foster Street (present-day First Street) on the eastern side, to present-day Eighth Street.
Choose the Right Welding Trade Program Des Arc AR
Selecting the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder School. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Des Arc AR.