How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Brinkley Arkansas
Choosing the ideal welding vocational school near Brinkley AR is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation 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 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Brinkley 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 provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Brinkley AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring 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 experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Brinkley AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick 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 obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Brinkley 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 diploma or degree programs are offered combined 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 placement program. These schools should have relationships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Brinkley AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Brinkley AR employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Brinkley AR welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Brinkley AR home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brinkley AR, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Brinkley AR?
Perhaps you live in the Brinkley 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.
Brinkley is the most populous city in Monroe County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Arkansas Delta, Brinkley was founded as a railroad town in 1872. The city has historically been a transportation and agricultural center in the region, more recently developing a reputation for outdoors recreation and the ivory-billed woodpecker. Birding has become important to the city and region following the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in 2004, a species thought to be extinct 60 years earlier. Located halfway between Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee, the city has used the slogan "We'll Meet You Half-Way" in some of its advertising campaigns. The population was 3,188 at the 2010 census.
In 1852, a land grant for the construction of rail lines was given to the Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company, led by Robert Campbell Brinkley as its president. Robert C. Brinkley, born in North Carolina, lived in Memphis where he served a public career of "noble deeds and generous conduct" and for many years served as president of Planters Bank of Memphis.
Between 1852 and 1869, the settlement was called "Lick Skillet." When the day's work was completed, the railroad construction crew, mostly all immigrants from neighboring towns, cooked their supper over an open fire and returned to their homes when the last "skillet was licked."
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Brinkley AR area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis 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 accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want 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 careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Technical Program Brinkley AR
Picking the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Brinkley AR.