How to Choose a Welder Training Program near Danville Arkansas
Locating the right welding technical school near Danville AR is an essential first step to launching your new career 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Danville AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Danville AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way 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 technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Danville AR area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain 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 alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Danville AR for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Danville AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Danville AR employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Danville AR welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Danville AR home. If you do decide to attend 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 welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Danville AR, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Danville AR?
Perhaps you live in the Danville 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.
After Yell County was created in 1840, local commissioners met to select a site for the county seat, settling on what is now Danville as the best location. The city was laid out in December 1841 by James Briggs, James Williams, and Nerick Morse. The home of William Peevy in Monrovia, a few miles north of Danville, was used as a temporary county seat in the interim. The city was named after the steamboat Danville, which plied the Petit Jean River in the 1840s. A log courthouse was constructed at Danville in 1844, though this was replaced by a frame building by 1850. A Masonic lodge was organized in Danville in the late 1840s. The number of creeks in the area led to the construction of numerous water power mills around Danville.
As of the 2010 census Danville had a population of 2,409. The ethnic and racial composition of the population was 52.6% Hispanic or Latino, 42.1% non-Hispanic white, 2.1% African-American, 0.6% Native American, 1.5% Asian (all not from the generally delinated sub-groups) and 3.1% reporting two or more races.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,392 people, 716 households, and 499 families residing in the city. The population density was 565.6 people per square mile (218.3/km²). There were 792 housing units at an average density of 187.3 per square mile (72.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.22% White, 1.84% Black or African American, 0.59% Native American, 1.30% Asian, 29.35% from other races, and 1.71% from two or more races. 43.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Danville AR area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical 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 environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Danville AR
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few 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 proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Danville AR.