How to Select a Welding Degree Program near Craig Alaska
Locating the right welding trade school near Craig AK is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder 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 prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Craig AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Craig AK employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Technical Program
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Craig AK area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two 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 looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Craig AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Craig AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Craig AK employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. 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 Craig AK welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Craig AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Craig AK, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask 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 Craig AK?
Perhaps you live in the Craig Alaska 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.
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census, down from 1,397 in 2000.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Craig AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Craig AK
Choosing the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are evaluating 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 on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Craig AK.