How to Pick a Welder Degree Program near Pelican Alaska
Finding the right welder trade school near Pelican AK is an essential first step to beginning 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when evaluating welder vocational 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options to obtain 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 offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Pelican AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Pelican 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 available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Trade School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Pelican AK area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Pelican AK for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing 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 placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Pelican AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Pelican AK employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Pelican AK welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Pelican AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pelican AK, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Pelican AK?
Perhaps you live in the Pelican 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.
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Pelican AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree 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 Ideal Welding Tech School Pelican AK
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Pelican AK.