How to Pick the Right Welder Technical School near Atqasuk Alaska
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Atqasuk AK is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Atqasuk AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Atqasuk AK employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. 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 specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Atqasuk AK area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on 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, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Atqasuk AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 refer their students. More established 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 Atqasuk AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Atqasuk AK contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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. If not, ask a local Atqasuk AK welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Atqasuk AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Atqasuk AK, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Atqasuk AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Welding Trade Schools Atqasuk AK
Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Trade Schools and wanted more information on the topic Underwater Welding Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Atqasuk AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 42.3 square miles (110 km2), of which 38.9 square miles (101 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (8.22%) is water.
Atqasuk first appeared on the 1940 U.S. Census as the unincorporated village of "Meade River." It reported on the 1950 census as "Tikikluk." In 1960, it returned again as Meade River. It did not appear on the 1970 census. It next reported on the 1980 U.S. Census as "Atkasook", and was made a census designated place (CDP). It formally incorporated in 1982 as Atqasuk.
As of the census of 2000, there were 228 people, 55 households, and 44 families residing in the city. The population density was 5.9 people per square mile (2.3/km²). There were 60 housing units at an average density of 1.5 per square mile (0.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 4.82% White, 94.30% Native Alaskan, 0.44% Asian, and 0.44% from two or more races.