How to Select the Best Welding Vocational School near Kake Alaska
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Kake AK is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to get 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. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Kake AK area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Kake 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). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Kake AK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important 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 attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Kake AK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist 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 larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Kake AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Kake AK contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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. If not, ask a local Kake AK welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Kake AK home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kake AK, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Kake AK area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Education Needed To Be A Welder Kake AK
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Education Needed To Be A Welder and wanted more information on the topic Vocational School For Welding. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kake AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Kake (/ˈkeɪk/, like 'cake') is a first-class city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 557 at the 2010 census. The name comes from the Tlingit word Ḵéix̱ʼ (Northern Tlingit) or Ḵéex̱ʼ (Southern Tlingit), which is derived from ḵée 'dawn, daylight' and x̱ʼé 'mouth', i.e. 'mouth of dawn' or 'opening of daylight'.
Kake is located at 56°58′15″N 133°56′2″W / 56.97083°N 133.93389°W / 56.97083; -133.93389 (56.970841, -133.933751). Kake is on the northwest coast of Kupreanof Island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), of which, 8.2 square miles (21 km2) of it is land and 6.0 square miles (16 km2) of it (42.37%) is water.