How to Select a Welder Certification Program near State University Arkansas
Finding the ideal welder school near State University AR is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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 short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the State University AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many State University AR employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the State University AR area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in State University AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask 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 larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the State University AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of State University AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local State University AR welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding school you select must be within driving distance of your State University AR home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near State University AR, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near State University AR?
Perhaps you live in the State University 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.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University (also known as A-State) is a public research university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, the state's second largest college system and second largest university by enrollment. It is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. The university marked its centennial year in 2009. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools (Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, and UT Arlington). Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe.
A-State was founded as the First District Agricultural School in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. Robert W. Glover, a Missionary Baptist pastor who served in both houses of the Arkansas Legislature from Sheridan (1905–1912), introduced in 1909 the resolution calling for the establishment of four state agricultural colleges, including the future ASU.
In 1918, ASU began offering a two-year college program. In 1925, it became First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930. A & M College became Arkansas State College in 1933. In 1967, the Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater State University AR area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Ideal Welding Technical Program State University AR
Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best means 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 some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in State University AR.