How to Pick a Welder Certificate Program near Stamps Arkansas
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Stamps AR is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right 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 cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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 offered in the Stamps AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach 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 finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Stamps AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different 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 make certain that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Stamps AR area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard 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 instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Stamps AR for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Stamps AR welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher 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 Stamps AR contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. Otherwise, ask a local Stamps AR welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Stamps AR home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Stamps AR, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Stamps AR?
Perhaps you live in the Stamps 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.
A post office has been in operation in Stamps since 1887. The community has the name of the local Stamps family. Stamps was the shop headquarters for the former Louisiana and Arkansas Railway until the relocation in the early 1920s to Minden in Webster Parish in north Louisiana.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,131 people, 830 households, and 541 families residing in the town. The population density was 693.7 people per square mile (268.0/km²). There were 1,003 housing units at an average density of 326.5 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.30% White, 54.48% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.56% from two or more races. Of the population 0.61% was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 830 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. Of all households 31.7% were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.10.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Stamps AR area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Stamps AR
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Stamps AR.