How to Choose the Right Welder Trade School near Hattieville Arkansas
Choosing the ideal welding trade school near Hattieville AR is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Hattieville AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually 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 furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Hattieville AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Hattieville AR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most 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 should be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select 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 offers, for example 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 recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Hattieville AR for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Hattieville AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, 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 school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Hattieville AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Hattieville AR welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Hattieville AR home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hattieville AR, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hattieville AR area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hattieville AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hattieville Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Arkansas Highway 247
Highway 247 (AR 247, Ark. 247, and Hwy. 247) is a designation for four north–south state highways in the Arkansas River Valley. All segments are maintained by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT).
Highway 247 (AR 247, Ark. 247, and Hwy. 247) is a north–south state highway in southern Pope County. The highway connects Pottsville and I-40 to southern Russellville along the Arkansas Valley Plains. The route is a former alignment of the Butterfield Overland Mail, a predecessor of the Pony Express running from Memphis, Tennessee to California in the 1850s.
Highway 247 begins at Highway 7 (Arkansas Avenue/Scenic 7 Byway) in southern Russellville just east of Whig Creek, and less than one mile (1.6 km) from the Arkansas River. The highway runs east along the southern city limits of Russellville through a largely vacant industrial area, shortly passing through unincorporated area before entering Pottsville. Though within city limits, Highway 247 continues due east through mostly undeveloped terrain, crossing the Tanyard Branch and Galla Creek before turning north. Highway 247 passes over the Union Pacific Railway tracks just before an intersection with US Highway 64 (US 64) and Highway 363 (Crow Mountain Drive) just south of Interstate 40 (I-40).
Choose the Best Welding Vocational School Hattieville AR
Selecting the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certification Classes. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty 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 program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Hattieville AR.