How to Select a Welding Trade School near Dardanelle Arkansas
Finding the ideal welding trade school near Dardanelle AR is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn 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 descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Dardanelle AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Dardanelle AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating 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 similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Dardanelle AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 agency, for example 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 securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Dardanelle AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships 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 assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Dardanelle AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 field, but also that it has the network of Dardanelle AR contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Dardanelle AR welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Dardanelle AR home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dardanelle AR, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Dardanelle AR?
Perhaps you live in the Dardanelle 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.
Dardanelle is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,745 at the 2010 census. Along with Danville, it serves as a county seat for Yell County. It is located near Lake Dardanelle.
Dardanelle is one of the oldest cities in the state of Arkansas. Officially incorporated in 1855, Dardanelle celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005. However, the area had been settled for years before that, first being established as a river town in the mid-18th century. It is Yell County's dual county seat, sharing that title with Danville.
The Treaty of Council Oaks was signed on June 24, 1823 on what is now Front Street beneath two huge oak trees (102 feet high and 400–500 years old). Under orders of President James Monroe, U.S. Army Colonel David Brearly and Arkansas territorial secretary Robert Crittendon met with Chief Black Fox and several Cherokee leaders to determine boundaries. As a result of the treaty, the Cherokees gave up all of their land in Arkansas south of the Arkansas River. One of the trees was destroyed in the early 1990s in a flood, but the other is still standing. The site is now a city park.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Dardanelle AR area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to 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 knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Best Welding Technical School Dardanelle AR
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Dardanelle AR.