How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Newport Arkansas
Choosing the right welding trade school near Newport AR is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Newport AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Newport AR employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Newport AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select 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). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Newport AR for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established 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 Newport 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 essential that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Newport AR contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 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 modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Newport AR welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Newport AR home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may 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, often 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Newport AR, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Newport AR?
Perhaps you live in the Newport 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.
Newport is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County, Arkansas, United States, located on the White River 84 miles (135 km) northeast of Little Rock. The population was 7,879 at the 2010 census.
Newport is home to a campus of the Arkansas State University system, with particular focus on training in transportation careers. Newport is known as the town in which Sam Walton owned a Ben Franklin store prior to starting Wal-Mart.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35.5 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.8 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.92%, is water.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Newport AR area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation 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 unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Vocational School Newport AR
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Newport AR.