How to Find the Right Welding Degree Program near Greenbrier Arkansas
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Greenbrier AR is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent 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 Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Greenbrier AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually 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, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Greenbrier AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove 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 make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Greenbrier AR area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide 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 selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Greenbrier AR for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Greenbrier AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined 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 trade, but additionally that it has the network of Greenbrier AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Greenbrier AR welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Greenbrier AR home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Greenbrier AR, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Greenbrier AR area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting 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 degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Greenbrier AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Greenbrier Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Since 1778, visitors have traveled to this part of the state to "take the waters" of the area. Today, The Greenbrier is situated on 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) of land with 710 guest rooms, 20 restaurants and lounges, more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities and sports, and 36 retail shops.
The current Greenbrier was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and was owned for much of its history by that company and its successors, including the CSX Corporation. Following years of heavy losses, CSX placed the hotel into bankruptcy in 2009. Justice Family Group, LLC, a company owned by local entrepreneur Jim Justice, subsequently bought the property and guaranteed all debts, resulting in dismissal of the bankruptcy. Justice promised to return the hotel to its former status as a five-star resort and to introduce "tasteful" gambling for guests to increase profit. The Greenbrier Hotel Corp. today operates as a subsidiary of Justice's company.
The Greenbrier is also the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War. The bunker was code named "Project Greek Island," and Fritz Bugas was the former onsite superintendent.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School Greenbrier AR
Choosing the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Technical School. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Greenbrier AR.