How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Newark Arkansas
Selecting the right welding technical school near Newark AR is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when evaluating welder technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options available to receive 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 descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Newark AR.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by Arkansas trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to develop 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 finish and are usually offered by Arkansas community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Newark AR.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Newark AR employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety 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 types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Newark AR employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various Newark AR area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Decide on a Welding Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Newark AR area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 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 verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for Newark AR non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other Newark AR metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Newark AR employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Newark AR welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Newark AR home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the Newark AR area welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Newark AR, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welding Professional?When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask Welder prospects is "What compelled you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Welding, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Find the Right Welding Technical Program near Newark AR
Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length 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 unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Newark AR.
About Newark Arkansas
Newark is a city in Independence County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,176 at the 2010 census.
Newark is home to Austin Reaves, a point guard at Whicita State. The local high school has won 3 basketball state championships, 2 quiz bowl state titles, and one softball state championship. The first Cedar Ridge Basketball State Championship came against East Pointsett County which at the time had Malik Monk, a shooting guard for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Newark is located at 35°42′9″N 91°26′41″W / 35.70250°N 91.44472°W / 35.70250; -91.44472 (35.702637, -91.444798).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), all of it land.
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