How to Pick a Welding Certification Course near Maynard Arkansas
Locating the right welding school near Maynard AR is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When 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 reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into 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 to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Maynard AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Maynard AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Maynard AR area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant 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 must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Maynard AR for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Maynard AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Maynard AR employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Maynard AR welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Maynard AR home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maynard AR, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Maynard AR?
Perhaps you live in the Maynard 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.
Maynard is home to the Maynard Pioneer Museum and Park. A jail built in 1936 has a door made of wagon wheel rims. The last time it was used was in 1988, when it temporarily housed a man charged with public intoxication. The jail is beside Maynard Community Center.
Abbott Institute — later known as Maynard Baptist Academy and Ouachita Baptist Academy — was a boarding school established in 1894. Abbott Institute joined a school network associated with a college now known as Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
In 1928, Maynard Baptist Academy was sold to the Maynard School District. Its facilities were then used by the public school. All that remains of the academy today is an arch built by Maynard Baptist Academy's class of 1927, its last class. In 2008, Maynard School Alumni Association restored the arch on the school grounds as a memorial to the academy.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Maynard AR area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Right Welding Tech Program Maynard AR
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Maynard AR.