How to Enroll In the Right Welding Certification Class near Kodiak Alaska
Enrolling in the right welding school near Kodiak AK is an important first step to launching 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? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Kodiak AK area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Kodiak AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Trade Schools
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Kodiak AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Kodiak AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older 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 Kodiak AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Kodiak AK contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Kodiak AK welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Kodiak AK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might 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 a job placement or apprenticeship 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kodiak AK, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Kodiak AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need 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 possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Technical Schools For Welding Kodiak AK
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Technical Schools For Welding and wanted more information on the topic Learn To Be A Welder. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Kodiak AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.