How to Enroll In a Welding Certificate Program near Juneau Alaska
Locating the ideal welder technical school near Juneau AK is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Juneau AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Juneau AK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Choose a Welder Trade School
After you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Juneau AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, 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 following are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Juneau AK for schools that are not accredited. Finally, 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. Many welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Juneau AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Juneau AK contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Juneau AK welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Juneau AK home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick 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 Juneau AK?
Perhaps you live in the Juneau 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.
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality on Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage.Fairbanks, however, is the state's second most populous metropolitan area, with roughly 100,000 residents. Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Juneau AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation 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 unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Tech School Juneau AK
Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training program 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 own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration 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 training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Juneau AK.