How to Select a Welder Training Class near Galena Alaska
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Galena AK is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Galena AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working 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 well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Galena AK employers not only expect 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 available 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Galena AK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Galena 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Galena AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Galena AK contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Galena AK welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Galena AK home. If you do decide to attend 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. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Galena AK, verify that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Galena AK?
Perhaps you live in the Galena 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.
Galena (/ɡəˈliːnə/) (Notaalee Denh in Koyukon) is a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 470, with a 2016 estimate of 488 inhabitants. Galena was established in 1918, and a military airfield was built adjacent to the city during World War II. The city was incorporated in 1971.
The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer many families floated on rafts to the Yukon River to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919.
In 1941 and 1942, during World War II, a military air field was built adjacent to the civilian airport, and the two facilities shared the runway and flight line facilities. This air field was designated Galena Air Force Station shortly after the split of the United States Air Force from the United States Army, which occurred as a result of the National Security Act of 1947. During the 1950s, the construction of additional military facilities at Galena and the nearby Campion Air Force Station, in support of Galena's mission as a forward operating base under the auspices of the 5072nd Air Base Group, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, provided improvements to the airport and the local infrastructure, causing economic growth for the area.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Galena AK area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most important 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 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School Galena AK
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Galena AK.