How to Select the Right Welding Trade School near Harrison Arkansas
Finding the ideal welder school near Harrison AR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Training Courses
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Harrison AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Harrison AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Tech Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Harrison AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Harrison AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Harrison AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Harrison AR employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. 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 Harrison AR welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Harrison AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk 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. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Harrison AR, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Harrison AR area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Harrison AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Harrison Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Harrison is a city in Boone County, Arkansas, United States. It is the county seat of Boone County. It is named after General Marcus LaRue Harrison, a surveyor that laid out the city along Crooked Creek at Stifler Springs. According to 2017 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 13,079, up from 12,943 at the 2010 census and it is the 30th largest city in Arkansas based on official 2017 estimates from the US Census Bureau. Harrison is the principal city of the Harrison Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boone and Newton counties.
Race riots by whites in 1905 and 1909 drove away black residents, establishing Harrison as a sundown town. Today it is known as a center of white supremacist activity, including the national headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, the first probably being cliff dwellers who lived in caves in the bluffs along the rivers. In later times, the Osage, a branch of the Sioux, was the main tribe in the Ozarks, and one of their larger villages is thought to have been to the east of the present site of Harrison. The Shawnee, Quapaw, and Caddo people were also familiar to the area.
Select the Ideal Welding Tech Program Harrison AR
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Classes Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Harrison AR.