How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Wideman Arkansas
Selecting the right welding school near Wideman AR is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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 brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Wideman AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep 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 multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Wideman AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Wideman AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Wideman AR for non-accredited schools. 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. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 develop associations within the Wideman AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wideman AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 unsure 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 Wideman AR welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Wideman AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wideman AR, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Wideman AR?
Perhaps you live in the Wideman Arkansas area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Izard County, Arkansas
Izard County /ˈɪzɜːrd/ is a county located in the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,696. The county seat is Melbourne. Izard County is Arkansas's thirteenth county, formed on October 27, 1825, and named for War of 1812 General and Arkansas Territorial Governor George Izard. It is an alcohol prohibition or dry county.
As of the 2000 census, there were 13,249 people, 5,440 households, and 3,769 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 6,591 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.41% White, 1.44% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,440 households out of which 25.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.70% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Wideman AR area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School Wideman AR
Picking the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Wideman AR.