How to Select a Welder Training Program near Tontitown Arkansas
Locating the ideal welding trade school near Tontitown AR is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several options available 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Tontitown AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Tontitown AR employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Tontitown AR area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Tontitown 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Tontitown 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 important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Tontitown AR employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment 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 in the field. If you are unsure 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 Tontitown AR welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Tontitown AR home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation 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, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tontitown AR, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tontitown AR?
Perhaps you live in the Tontitown 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.
Tontitown is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located in the Ozark Mountains and was founded by Italian settlers in 1898. Known for its grapes and wines, Tontitown has hosted the Tontitown Grape Festival continuously since 1898. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area, serving as a bedroom community for larger neighbors Fayetteville and Springdale. The town experienced a 160% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Led by Catholic priest Pietro Bandini, who eventually became mayor of the city, Italian settlers working on Lakeport Plantation in the Arkansas delta moved to northwest Arkansas and found the climate and terrain similar to their native Northern Italy. Tontitown was settled in 1898 and named for Italian explorer Henri de Tonti. It was incorporated as a city in 1909.
As of the census of 2000, there were 942 people, 351 households, and 273 families residing in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (51.8/km²). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 52.4/sq mi (20.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.28% White, 1.70% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Tontitown AR area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects 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 work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Technical Program Tontitown AR
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Tontitown AR.