How to Choose the Right Welding Trade School near Keiser Arkansas
Selecting the right welder vocational school near Keiser AR is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welder 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Keiser AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Keiser AR employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Keiser AR area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Keiser AR for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Keiser AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Keiser AR employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Keiser AR welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Keiser AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire 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 several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current 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 at night or on weekends near Keiser AR, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Keiser 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 provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Keiser AR?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Keiser Arkansas area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Originally known as Savage Crossing, Keiser was one of several cities established by prominent late-19th century planter and land developer Robert E. Lee Wilson. The city, which served as a logging outpost and railroad stop on the rail line that connected Wilson and Jonesboro, was named for Wilson's friend, John Keiser. After the forests had been cleared, the city transitioned from a logging town to an agrarian community. The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station established a research farm near Keiser in 1957, and built a regional headquarters in Keiser, the Northeast Research and Extension Center, 1980.
Keiser is located at 35°40′28″N 90°5′46″W / 35.67444°N 90.09611°W / 35.67444; -90.09611 (35.674411, -90.096084). The city is concentrated along a stretch of Arkansas Highway 181 southwest of Osceola and northwest of Wilson. Interstate 55 passes just east of the city.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Keiser has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Select the Best Welding Technical Program Keiser AR
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Keiser AR.