How to Select the Right Welding Training Class near Marion Arkansas
Finding the right welding vocational school near Marion AR is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest 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 necessary considerations when examining welder 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Marion AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Marion AR employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type 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 specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Technical Programs
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Marion AR area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Marion AR for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Marion AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Marion AR employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Marion AR welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Marion AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marion AR, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Marion AR area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Marion AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Marion Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Marion is a city in and the county seat of Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 12,345 at the 2010 census, a 38.7% increase since 2000. The city is part of the Memphis metropolitan area. It is the second largest city in Crittenden County, behind West Memphis.
Although Marion was incorporated in 1896, the community predates that significantly. The site of Marion was part of Louisiana (New Spain) from 1764 to 1803, when it became Louisiana (New France). Some of the oldest land titles in the area are from Spanish land grants from a time prior to the Louisiana Purchase. After the Louisiana Purchase the area was part of the Arkansas Territory. During the 1830s the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Native Americans from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, passed through the area. Its location is close to where the Sultana Steamboat exploded and sunk. A memorial is placed on the city hall square to remember those lost in the accident
Marion, AR was named after Marion Tolbert. In 1837 two commissioners had been appointed by the county court to select a site for a new county seat. Tolbert and his wife Temperance gave a deed to the commissioners "for the county of Crittenden for county purposes" on June 25, 1837. A town was laid out, named Marion in honor of Marion Tolbert and was made the county seat of Crittenden County, AR. Marion has been incorporated on multiple occasions, first in 1851. The current incorporation dates from 1896.
Choose the Right Welding Tech Program Marion AR
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Underwater Welding Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Marion AR.