How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Hazen Arkansas
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Hazen AR is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns 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 starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Hazen AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Hazen AR employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Hazen AR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual 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 acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Hazen AR for non-accredited schools. Also, 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. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Hazen AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Hazen AR employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Hazen AR welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Hazen AR home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Hazen 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 choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Hazen AR area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Hazen AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Hazen Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), all land. Included is a 0.25-mile wide strip of annexed land along Interstate 40 in Prairie County. Nearby towns are Des Arc, De Valls Bluff, Ulm and Fredonia (Biscoe).
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,637 people, 658 households, and 461 families residing in the city. The population density was 446.8 people per square mile (172.7/km²). There were 732 housing units at an average density of 199.8/sq mi (77.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.57% White, 18.45% Black or African American, 0.55% Native American, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 658 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.88.
Select the Best Welding Tech Program Hazen AR
Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Colleges. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Hazen AR.