How to Select a Welding Technical School near Glennallen Alaska
Enrolling in the right welding technical school near Glennallen AK is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Glennallen AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Glennallen AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Trade School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Glennallen AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important 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 should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Glennallen 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Glennallen AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Glennallen AK contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure 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 on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Glennallen AK welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Glennallen AK home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glennallen AK, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Glennallen AK?
Perhaps you live in the Glennallen 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.
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Glennallen AK area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Glennallen AK
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Glennallen AK.