How to Choose a Welding Training Program near Humphrey Arkansas
Choosing the right welding trade school near Humphrey AR is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. 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 examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Humphrey AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Humphrey AR employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types 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, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Humphrey AR area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example 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 recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Humphrey AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Humphrey AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might 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 program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Humphrey AR contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Humphrey AR welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Humphrey AR home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Humphrey AR, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Humphrey AR?
Perhaps you live in the Humphrey 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 806 people, 319 households, and 209 families residing in the city. The population density was 592.3 people per square mile (228.8/km²). There were 365 housing units at an average density of 268.2/sq mi (103.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.82% White, 40.45% Black or African American, 1.20% Native American, 1.00% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. 0.87% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 319 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city, the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Humphrey AR area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important 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 accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Humphrey AR
Selecting the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller 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 course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Humphrey AR.