How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Harrisburg Arkansas
Enrolling in the ideal welding technical school near Harrisburg AR is an essential first step to beginning 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Courses
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Harrisburg AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Harrisburg AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. 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 certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Harrisburg AR area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Harrisburg AR for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some 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 assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Harrisburg AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Harrisburg AR employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Harrisburg AR welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Harrisburg AR home. If you do decide 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 true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
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 looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Harrisburg AR, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Harrisburg AR area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Harrisburg AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Harrisburg Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Harrisburg is a city in Poinsett County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,288 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the county seat of Poinsett County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,192 people, 855 households, and 582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.4 people per square mile (404.9/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 444.7/sq mi (171.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.66% White, 1.24% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race and 00.01% Other.
There were 855 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.84.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Harrisburg AR
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn To Weld. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Harrisburg AR.