How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Delta Junction Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Delta Junction AK is an important first step to beginning 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options 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 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 offered in the Delta Junction AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded 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 prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Delta Junction AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade School
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Delta Junction AK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Delta Junction AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Delta Junction 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 program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Delta Junction AK employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Delta Junction AK welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Delta Junction AK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Delta Junction AK, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Delta Junction AK?
Perhaps you live in the Delta Junction 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.
Delta Junction, Alaska
Delta Junction is a city in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 958, up from 840 in 2000. The 2016 estimate was down to 934. The city is located a short distance south of the confluence of the Delta River with the Tanana River, which is at Big Delta. It is about 160 km (99 mi) south of Fairbanks. Native inhabitants are Tanana Athabaskans.
The early history of non-native settlement in the area occurred at the river crossing at Big Delta and is found at the entry, Big Delta, Alaska. In 1904, the town first served as a telegraph station. In 1928, a herd of 23 bison were brought from the National Bison Range in Montana to an area south of Big Delta to provide an additional game species for hunters. Buffalo Center, a small community near the center of present-day Delta Junction, was named because of their presence, especially during the winter months. The huge animals were troublesome, and sometimes made landings dangerous at nearby Allen Army Airfield.
The herd is now kept at several hundred animals by the annual issuance of hunting permits. In the early 1980s, the 90,000-acre (360 km2) Delta Junction Bison Range, south of the Alaska Highway and between Ft. Greely and the Little Gerstle River was established; the range is now managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to provide fall habitat for bison to reduce farm depredations and to provide habitat for other wildlife.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Delta Junction AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Vocational School Delta Junction AK
Selecting the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose 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 Delta Junction AK.