How to Select a Welder Trade School near Tunica Mississippi
Choosing the ideal welding school near Tunica MS is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Tunica MS.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose 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.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Tunica MS employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various 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, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Tunica MS area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Tunica MS for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Tunica MS welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Tunica MS contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Tunica MS welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Tunica MS home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Tunica MS, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tunica MS?
Perhaps you live in the Tunica Mississippi 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.
Tunica is a town in and the county seat of Tunica County, Mississippi, United States, near the Mississippi River. Until the early 1990s, the rural town was one of the most impoverished places in the United States, and its population has declined since the peak in 1970.
Tunica is the fourth community to serve as county seat of Tunica County, succeeding earlier county seats at Commerce (1839–1842, 1842–1847), Peyton (1842, temporary) and Austin (1847–1888).
Tunica gained national attention for its deprived neighborhood known as "Sugar Ditch Alley", named for the open sewer located there. Its fortunes have improved since development of a gambling resort area nearby during the early 1990s. While population growth has taken place mostly outside Tunica, the major casinos employ numerous locals. They attract visitors from nearby Memphis, Tennessee, West Memphis, Arkansas and all over the Southeastern United States.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Tunica MS area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most important 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Technical School Tunica MS
Choosing the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tunica MS.