How to Enroll In the Best Welder Degree Program near Auke Bay Alaska
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Auke Bay AK is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Auke Bay AK area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Auke Bay AK employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Auke Bay AK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types 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 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Auke Bay AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Auke Bay AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Auke Bay AK employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 Auke Bay AK welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Auke Bay AK home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma 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 should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Auke Bay AK, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Auke Bay AK area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Welding Degrees Auke Bay AK
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Degrees and wanted more information on the topic MIG Welding School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Auke Bay AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Auke Bay, Juneau
Auke Bay is a neighborhood located in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, that contains Auke Bay Harbor, Auke Lake, the University of Alaska Southeast, an elementary school, a church, a post office, a bar, a coffee shop, a waffle house, a thrift shop, a Thai restaurant, and one convenience store. The view of the Mendenhall Glacier behind Auke Bay and Mount McGinnis towering over Auke Lake are some of the most popular photo opportunities in Juneau. The ferry terminal of the Alaska Marine Highway system is also located further out the road in Auke Bay at about 14 miles. The flamingo house on Auke Lake is a local attraction, known for its topical or weather-related formations of pink lawn flamingos. Whale watchings targeting curious humpbacks are available. Humpbacks in these areas are known to demonstrate special feeding methods, so-called "bubble-net feeding", and come very close to shores.
Fire and EMS coverage is provided by Capital City Fire Rescue. Originally, the Auke Bay Volunteer Fire Department provided services beginning in 1952 under the guiding principal of "neighbors helping neighbors." In 1992, Auke Bay VFD merged along with five other fire departments to become Capital City Fire & Rescue, which serves the majority of the Juneau area. The Auke Bay Fire Station is covered by volunteer firefighters. At night, the station is staffed by "Live-In" Resident Volunteer Firefighters, who are allowed to reside in the station rent-free in exchange for staffing emergency vehicles a required amount of time per month.
The United States Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, a 110' Island Class Patrol Boat, is homeported out of Auke Bay / Statter Harbor and is manned with a crew of 2 officers and 12 enlisted. The cutter's primary mission set includes law enforcement, search and rescue, military operations, and environmental protection. During the summer months, USCG Small Boat Station Juneau maintains a 45' Motor Lifeboat at Liberty's moorings, providing a faster search and rescue asset as well as law enforcement capability to the immediate harbor area.