How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Class near Mount Holly Arkansas
Locating the right welding vocational school near Mount Holly AR is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several alternatives available 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Mount Holly AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Mount Holly AR employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical School
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Mount Holly AR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Mount Holly AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Mount Holly AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Mount Holly AR employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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. Otherwise, ask a local Mount Holly AR welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Mount Holly AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mount Holly AR, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Mount Holly AR?
Perhaps you live in the Mount Holly 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.
Smackover-Norphlet School District
Smackover-Norphlet School District No. 39 (SNSD), formerly Smackover School District 39, is a school district based in Smackover, Arkansas. It has territory in Union County, Ouachita County, and Columbia County.
On May 8, 2014 the Arkansas Board of Education (ABE) approved the merger of the Norphlet School District into the Smackover School District, effective July 1, 2014, forming the Smackover-Norphlet School District.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Mount Holly AR area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like 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 very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Mount Holly AR
Picking the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Mount Holly AR.