Welder Training Schools near West Helena AR 72390

How to Find the Right Welding Degree Program near West Helena Arkansas 

West Helena AR welder working on pipeLocating the right welding school near West Helena AR is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important 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 beginning your search for a vocational 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses

There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in West Helena AR.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Arkansas technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by Arkansas community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder in West Helena AR.

Welding Certification Alternatives

West Helena AR electrician welding poleThere are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous West Helena AR employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain types of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to West Helena AR employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you select preps you for certification if needed.

Online Welding Courses

Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific West Helena AR area community colleges and technical schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

How to Select a Welding Technical School

West Helena AR construction worker weldingWhen you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the West Helena AR area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two 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 need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for West Helena AR non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding 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 after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various West Helena AR 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of  West Helena AR employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm 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 on the job. 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 West Helena AR welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your West Helena AR home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides 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 a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the  West Helena AR area welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Helena AR, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Why Did You Want to Be a Welding Technician?

When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask Welder applicants is "What compelled you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

Select the Best Welding Vocational School near West Helena AR

Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in West Helena AR.

About West Helena Arkansas

Helena–West Helena, Arkansas

Helena–West Helena is the county seat of and the largest city within Phillips County, Arkansas, United States.[3] The current city was consolidated, effective January 1, 2006, from the two Arkansas cities of Helena and West Helena. Helena is sited on lowlands between the Mississippi River and the eastern side of Crowley's Ridge. West Helena is located on the western side of Crowley's Ridge, a geographic anomaly in the typically flat Arkansas Delta. The Helena Bridge, one of Arkansas' four Mississippi River bridges, carries U.S. Route 49 across to Mississippi. The combined population of the two cities was 15,012 at the 2000 census and at the 2010 census, the official population was 12,282.[4]

The municipality traces its historical roots to the founding of the port town of Helena on the Mississippi River by European Americans in 1833. As the county seat, Helena was the center of a prosperous cotton plantation region in the antebellum years. Helena was occupied by the Union Army early in the American Civil War. The city was the site of the Battle of Helena fought in 1863. Confederate forces unsuccessfully tried to expel Union forces from Helena in order to help relieve pressure on the strategic river town of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Later in the year, Helena served as the launching point for the Union Army in the capture of Little Rock, the state capital.

A thriving blues community developed here in the 1940s and 1950s as rural musicians relocated for city jobs. Mechanization had reduced the need for farm workers. The city continued to grow until the closing of the Mohawk Rubber Company, a subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Company, in the 1970s. Unemployment surged shortly after.[5]

Among the attractions in Helena–West Helena are the Delta Cultural Center, the Pillow-Thompson House (owned and operated by the Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas), and the Helena Confederate Cemetery, which holds the remains of seven Confederate Army generals.[6] The city holds an annual King Biscuit Blues Festival each October. It has been held under this name since 2010, when it was renamed at a 25th-anniversary performance by musician B.B. King.

 

 

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