How to Select a Welder Certification Class near Klawock Alaska
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Klawock AK is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Klawock AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Klawock AK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Klawock AK area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that most people look at 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 school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you select 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 a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Klawock AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Klawock AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Klawock AK contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Klawock AK welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Klawock AK home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Klawock AK, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Klawock AK?
Perhaps you live in the Klawock Alaska area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Klawock (Tlingit: Láwaak) is a city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, on Klawock Inlet, across from Klawock Island. The population was 755 at the 2010 census, down from 854 in 2000.
Klawock's first settlers were Tlingit who came from the northern winter village of Tuxekan. They used it as a fishing camp for the summer period, and called it by several different names: Klawerak, Tlevak, Clevak, and Klawak. The name "Klawock" is derived from the Tlingit name ɬawa:k, a subgroup of the Tlingit nation. In 1853 a Russian navigator referred to the village as "Klyakkhan", and in 1855 as "Thlewakh".
In 1868, European Americans opened a trading post and a salmon saltery; some years later, in 1878, a San Francisco firm opened the first cannery in Alaska. In the following decades, several others were established. A United States post office was established in 1882. The 1890 census recorded the town's population as 260.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Klawock AK area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give 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. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must 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 expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School Klawock AK
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Klawock AK.