How to Select a Welder Certificate Program near Dumas Arkansas
Enrolling in the right welder school near Dumas AR is an essential first step to starting 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 alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Dumas AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Dumas AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Dumas AR area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose 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). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Dumas AR for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Dumas 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 crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean 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 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 Dumas AR employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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. If not, ask a local Dumas AR welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
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 can relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Dumas AR home. If you do decide to enroll in 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 welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dumas AR, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Dumas AR?
Perhaps you live in the Dumas Arkansas area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all land. The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta, producing a topography which is largely flat.
The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Dumas AR area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly 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 critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to 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 perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Trade Program Dumas AR
Choosing the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Dumas AR.