How to Pick a Welding Certification Program near Nikiski Alaska
Finding the ideal welder school near Nikiski AK is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose 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 start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues 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 beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Nikiski 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 scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Nikiski AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical 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 a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Nikiski AK area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, 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 furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Nikiski 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Nikiski AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Nikiski AK employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Nikiski AK welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you select must be within driving distance of your Nikiski AK home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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 desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nikiski AK, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Nikiski AK?
Perhaps you live in the Nikiski 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 76.2 square miles (197 km2), of which, 69.6 square miles (180 km2) of it is land and 6.6 square miles (17 km2) of it (8.66%) is water.
Nikiski first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as the unincorporated Tinneh villages of "Kultuk" (AKA Nikishka No. 3) and "Titukilsk and Nikishka." Kultuk had a population of 17, and Titukilsk and Nikishka had a population of 57, all of which were Tinneh Natives. There apparently were no census reports from 1880 until 1980, when the area was organized as "Nikishka" and made a census-designated place (CDP). The name was altered to Nikiski in 1990 and has reported as such on each successive census.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,327 people, 1,514 households, and 1,130 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 62.2 people per square mile (24.0/km²). There were 1,766 housing units at an average density of 25.4/sq mi (9.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 87.15% White, 0.12% Black or African American, 7.56% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.51% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 3.12% from two or more races. 1.32% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Nikiski AK area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Right Welding Technical School Nikiski AK
Picking the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way 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 a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Nikiski AK.