How to Pick a Welder Certificate Program near Dumas Arkansas
Choosing the right welder school near Dumas AR is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in Dumas AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by Arkansas trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by Arkansas community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Dumas AR.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Dumas AR employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Dumas AR employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various Dumas AR area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate 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 must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover 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 setting.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Dumas AR area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds 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 instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Dumas AR schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Dumas AR metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, 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 program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Dumas AR employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate 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 using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Dumas AR welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Dumas AR home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the Dumas AR area welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Dumas AR, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welder?When prepping to interview for a Welding job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask Welding candidates is "What drove you to decide on Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to Welding, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding Welder and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Welding Trade Program near Dumas AR
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things 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 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 should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Dumas AR.
About Dumas Arkansas
Dumas is a city in Desha County, Arkansas. The population was 4,706 at the 2010 census.
Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all of it land. The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta with a topography that is largely flat.
The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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