How to Pick a Welding Certificate Program near Star City Arkansas
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Star City AR is an essential first step to starting 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 fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Star City AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Star City AR employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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 specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Tech School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Star City AR area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder 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 two basic 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Star City AR for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after 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. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Star City AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Star City AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Star City AR welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Star City AR home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Star City AR, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Star City AR?
Perhaps you live in the Star City 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.
Star City, Arkansas
Star City is a city in, and the county seat of, Lincoln County, Arkansas, United States,. Incorporated in 1876, the city is located between the Arkansas Delta and Arkansas Timberlands. With an economy historically based on agriculture, today Star City has developed a diverse economy based on both industry and agriculture. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,274. Star City is located within the Pine Bluff metropolitan area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,471 people, 875 households, and 603 families residing in the city. The population density was 587.5 people per square mile (226.6/km²). There were 972 housing units at an average density of 231.1 per square mile (89.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.93% White, 21.08% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.04% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 875 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Star City AR area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Star City AR
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Star City AR.