How to Pick a Welder Technical School near Mount Pleasant Arkansas
Locating the right welder trade school near Mount Pleasant AR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop 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 several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Mount Pleasant AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Mount Pleasant AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Mount Pleasant AR area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Mount Pleasant AR for schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. 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 placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Mount Pleasant AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Mount Pleasant AR employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder 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. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Mount Pleasant AR welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Mount Pleasant AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to some of the teachers 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 working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mount Pleasant AR, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask 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 Mount Pleasant AR?
Perhaps you live in the Mount Pleasant 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.
Mount Pleasant, Arkansas
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.34 square miles (8.66 km2), of which 3.33 square miles (8.63 km2) are land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.43%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 401 people, 166 households, and 113 families residing in the town. The population density was 44.7/km² (115.8/mi²). There were 182 housing units at an average density of 20.3/km² (52.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.25% White, 0.25% Asian, and 0.50% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 166 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Mount Pleasant AR area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree 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 Technical Program Mount Pleasant AR
Picking the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Mount Pleasant AR.