How to Find the Right Welding Certification Class near Tanacross Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Tanacross AK is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to get 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Tanacross AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Tanacross AK employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Tanacross AK area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Tanacross AK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist 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 place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Tanacross AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Tanacross AK employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Tanacross AK welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Tanacross AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tanacross AK, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Tanacross AK?
Perhaps you live in the Tanacross 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.
Tanacross (Taats’altęy in Tanacross Athabascan) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 136, down from 140 in 2000. It hosts an air tanker base.
Tanacross, initially founded as a telegraph station called Tanana Crossing (also known as St. Timothy's). The name was shortened to Tanacross before 1940. The village was initially located on the north bank of the Tanana River. An airstrip was built on the south bank during the mid-1930s and upgraded for military use during World War II in 1941-42. Thousands of troops deployed through Tanacross during the period. The airfield was closed after the war. In 1972, the town itself relocated south across the river due to water contamination. In 1979, the old village burned due to an uncontrolled grass fire.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 81.2 square miles (210 km2), of which, 80.0 square miles (207 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (1.38%) is water.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Tanacross AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, 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 environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate 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 degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Technical Program Tanacross AK
Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Tanacross AK.