How to Select a Welder Certification Class near Yellville Arkansas
Selecting the ideal welder technical school near Yellville AR is an essential first step to beginning your new career 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 alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Yellville AR.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one 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 experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Yellville AR employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Yellville AR area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select 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 choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Yellville AR for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Yellville AR welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Yellville AR employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Yellville AR welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Yellville AR home. If you do opt to enroll in 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. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yellville AR, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. 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 because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Yellville AR?
Perhaps you live in the Yellville 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.
Yellville is named after Archibald Yell, who was the first member of the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas and the second Governor of Arkansas. He was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista during the Mexican–American War. Yellville existed well before Arkansas became a state, though originally known as Shawneetown.
Marion County was formed in 1836, shortly after statehood. Shawneetown was then renamed Yellville. An old tale claims Archibald Yell offered $50 to do so, but never paid the money. True or not, Governor Yell's descendants heard the story and paid the overdue "bill" several years ago. Yell's name can be seen elsewhere in the state, including Yell County, Arkansas and Archibald Yell Boulevard in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Several biographies of him have been written, the most recent published by the University of Arkansas Press in Fayetteville.
Yellville is located at 36°13′47″N 92°41′7″W / 36.22972°N 92.68528°W / 36.22972; -92.68528 (36.229723, −92.685310). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2).
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Yellville AR area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have 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 knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Best Welding Technical Program Yellville AR
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Yellville AR.