How to Choose a Welding Certification Program near Newark Arkansas
Selecting the right welding trade school near Newark AR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Newark AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Newark AR employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various states, cities 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 an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Newark AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. 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 specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose 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 obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Newark 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 also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships 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 Newark 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 finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Newark AR contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Newark AR welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Newark AR home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Newark AR, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Newark AR?
Perhaps you live in the Newark 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.
The local high school has won three basketball state championships, two quiz bowl state titles, and one softball state championship. The first Cedar Ridge Basketball State Championship came against East Poinsett County, which at the time had Malik Monk, who went on to become a shooting guard for Kentucky.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,219 people, 500 households, and 345 families residing in the city. The population density was 696.9 people per square mile (268.9/km²). There were 562 housing units at an average density of 321.3/sq mi (124.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.55% White, 0.66% Black or African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 500 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.01.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Newark AR area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Tech Program Newark AR
Choosing the right welding training program will probably 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 evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Newark AR.