How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Eielson Afb Alaska
Finding the right welder vocational school near Eielson Afb AK is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Eielson Afb AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Eielson Afb AK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way 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 make certain that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Eielson Afb AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard kinds 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 make certain 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Eielson Afb AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or diploma 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 considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Eielson Afb AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who were in 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 program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Eielson Afb AK contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Eielson Afb AK welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Eielson Afb AK home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eielson Afb AK, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Eielson Afb AK area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. 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 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 experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Local Welding Schools Eielson Afb AK
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Local Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Certified Welding Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Eielson Afb AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Colonel Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.