How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Armorel Arkansas
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near Armorel AR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding trade 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Armorel AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 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 potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Armorel AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
When you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Armorel AR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. 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 more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Armorel AR for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding 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. Find out if the schools you are looking at help 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 larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Armorel AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Armorel AR employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Armorel AR welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Armorel AR home. If you do decide to enroll in 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 welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. 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, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Armorel AR, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Armorel AR?
Perhaps you live in the Armorel 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.
Armorel is an unincorporated community located in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States. A largely rural area with most of its land devoted to forests and farms, population estimates are variously given as between 300 and 500 people. Most of the town lies between Arkansas highways 18 and 312.
The town was founded in 1899 by lumber magnate and president of Lee Wilson and Company, R.E.L. Wilson as one of his many company holdings. Wilson was an eclectic and colorful figure with vast land holdings in the Delta area after the Civil War. Also a proponent of education, Wilson was one of the original trustees of Arkansas State University, then A & M College. He sat on the board from 1917 until his death in 1933.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Armorel AR area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important 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 must 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 knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Trade Program Armorel AR
Picking the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Armorel AR.