How to Select the Right Welder Technical School near Circle Alaska
Finding the right welder technical school near Circle AK is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to establish 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 Programs
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Circle AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Circle AK employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Circle AK area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain 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 recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Circle AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Circle AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Circle AK contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Circle AK welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Circle AK home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Circle AK, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Circle AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Becoming A Welder Circle AK
Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Becoming A Welder and wanted more information on the topic Community College Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Circle AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Circle (also called Circle City, Danzhit Khaiinląįį[pronunciation?] in Gwich'in) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 104, up from 100 in 2000.
Circle is 160 mi (260 km) northeast of Fairbanks at the end of the Steese Highway. Circle was named by miners in the late 19th century who believed that the town was on the Arctic Circle, but the Arctic Circle is about 50 mi (80 km) north of Circle.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 108.2 square miles (280 km2), of which 107.7 square miles (279 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.50%) is water.