How to Enroll In a Welder Technical School near Nome Alaska
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Nome AK is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Nome AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily 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 complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Nome AK employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Trade School
When you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Nome AK area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Nome AK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Nome AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. 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 a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Nome AK employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Nome AK welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Nome AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Nome AK, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Nome AK?
Perhaps you live in the Nome 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.
Nome (/ˈnoʊm/; Inupiaq: Siqnazuaq IPA: [siqnɐzuɑq]) is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of Alaska, United States. The city is located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. In 2016 the population was estimated at 3,797, a rise from the 3,598 recorded in the 2010 Census, up from 3,505 in 2000. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most-populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation, which is headquartered in Nome.
In the winter of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic raged among Alaska Natives in the Nome area. Fierce territory-wide blizzard conditions prevented the delivery of a life-saving serum by airplane from Anchorage. A relay of dog sled teams was organized to deliver the serum.
The origin of the city's name "Nome" is debated; there are three theories. The first is that the name was given by Nome's founder, Jafet Lindeberg, an immigrant from Norway. Nome appears as a toponym in several places in Norway.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Nome 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 initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade School Nome AK
Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Nome AK.