How to Pick the Best Welding Trade School near Point Lay Alaska
Selecting the right welding technical school near Point Lay 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 know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating welding technical 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 establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Point Lay AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. 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 supplemental 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Point Lay 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 based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Point Lay AK area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you select 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 an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Point Lay AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Point Lay AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher 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 an indication of the quality 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 Point Lay AK employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Point Lay AK welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Point Lay AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Point Lay AK, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Point Lay AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Welding Training Online Point Lay AK
Selecting the best welding school will undoubtedly 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 Welding Training Online and wanted more information on the topic Welding Certification Training Programs. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Point Lay AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Point Lay, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 34.5 square miles (89 km2), of which, 30.5 square miles (79 km2) of it is land and 4.0 square miles (10 km2) of it (11.66%) is water.
Point Lay once was on a barrier island of Kasegaluk Lagoon, but moved to the mainland near the mouth of the Kokolik River during the 1970s.  A weather station was operated from October 1949 to March 1958.
Point Lay first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated Inuit village. All 30 of its residents were Inuit. It returned again in 1890 with 77 residents, all native. It did not appear again until 1940 and again in 1950. The original settlement on the barrier island was relocated a mile to the east on the mainland in the 1970s. The new village of Point Lay returned on the 1980 U.S. Census and was made a census-designated place (CDP). It has continued to return on each successive census.