How to Select a Welding Certificate Program near Fountain Hill Arkansas
Selecting the right welding school near Fountain Hill AR is an important 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 know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Fountain Hill AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Fountain Hill AR employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Fountain Hill AR area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Fountain Hill AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various 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 assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Fountain Hill AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Fountain Hill AR contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs 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 trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Fountain Hill AR welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Fountain Hill AR home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people 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 at night or on weekends near Fountain Hill AR, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Fountain Hill AR?
Perhaps you live in the Fountain Hill 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.
Fountain Hill, Arkansas
As of the census of 2000, there were 159 people, 66 households, and 39 families residing in the town. The population density was 104.1/km² (271.0/mi²). There were 77 housing units at an average density of 50.4/km² (131.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.38% White, 35.22% Black or African American, 1.89% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 66 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Fountain Hill AR area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done 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 desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Best Welding Trade School Fountain Hill AR
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Fountain Hill AR.