How to Select a Welding Degree Program near Dyess Arkansas
Choosing the right welder school near Dyess AR is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Dyess AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out 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 take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Dyess AR employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate 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 make sure that the welding tech school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Vocational School
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Dyess AR area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Dyess AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Dyess 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 pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Dyess AR contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Dyess AR welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Dyess AR home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Dyess AR, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Dyess AR?
Perhaps you live in the Dyess 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.
Dyess is a town in Mississippi County, Arkansas, United States. The town was founded as Dyess Colony in 1934 as part of the Roosevelt administration's agricultural relief and rehabilitation program and was the largest agrarian community established by the federal government during the Great Depression. The town is best remembered as the boyhood home of country singer-songwriter Johnny Cash. The surviving original buildings of the colony period and Johnny Cash's boyhood home are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the "Dyess Colony Center" and "Farm No. 266, Johnny Cash Boyhood Home."
Dyess Colony was established in Mississippi County, Arkansas in 1934 as part of the New Deal efforts of Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide economic relief to destitute workers in the Great Depression. The experiment was the largest such community-building experiment established by the federal government during these years.
The project was established by Mississippi Country cotton planter and local politician William Reynolds Dyess (1894-1936), director of the Arkansas Emergency Relief Administration, who initially sought the establishment of a self-supporting agricultural community housing 800 families upon unused Mississippi Delta farmland. Director Dyess established the entity remembered to history as "Dyess Colony" as "Colonization Project No. 1," plans for which were submitted to chief of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) Harry Hopkins early in 1934. The project was approved by Hopkins in March 1934.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Dyess AR area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Dyess AR
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means 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 a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Dyess AR.