How to Pick the Best Welder Certification Class near Fort Wainwright Alaska
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Fort Wainwright AK is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 typical welding programs available in the Fort Wainwright AK area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Fort Wainwright 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). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Fort Wainwright AK area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. 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 example Welding Technology. So verify 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Fort Wainwright AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder 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 after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Fort Wainwright AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Fort Wainwright AK contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Fort Wainwright AK welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Fort Wainwright AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fort Wainwright AK, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Fort Wainwright AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
TIG Welding Training Fort Wainwright AK
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Training and wanted more information on the topic Where To Take Welding Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select 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 Fort Wainwright AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Fort Wainwright is a United States Army post adjacent to Fairbanks in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1978 Fort Wainwright has been investigating and cleaning up soil and water contamination from a landfill and drum burial site, fuel terminal, coal storage yard/fire training pits, open detonation area and underground storage tanks. It was Superfund-listed in 1990.
Ft. Wainwright was first established in 1939 as the U.S. Army Air Corps Ladd Field. In 1947 it was transferred to the newly established U.S. Air Force and renamed Ladd AFB, serving as a cold weather station to test aircraft under arctic conditions. In 1961 it was transferred to the Army and redesignated Fort Wainwright in honor of World War II general Jonathan Wainwright. From 1963 to 1972 it was home to the 171st Infantry Brigade, mechanized until 1969, then light. During that time, the 172nd Infantry Brigade was at Fort Richardson, in Anchorage. From 1986 to 1998 Fort Wainwright was the home of the 6th Infantry Division (Light), and served as the division's headquarters from 1990 to 1994. From 1998 to 2006, it was home to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, which was reorganized in 2003 as the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), part of the U.S. Army's transition program to include six SBCTs. In 2006, the 172nd was re-flagged as the 1st brigade of the 25th Infantry Division. Fort Wainwright was also the home of Task Force 49, an aviation brigade that provides logistical air support for U.S. Army Alaska which later transformed to become a part of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade with headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA in 2010 with duty in Alaska.
Since 1978 Fort Wainwright has been participating in the Department of Defense Installation Restoration Program to investigate and clean up contamination. In 1985 and 1986, lead and chromium were detected in monitoring wells at the landfill; in 1987, chromium and tetrahydrofuran were detected in monitoring wells at the proposed housing area, and chromium was detected in soil. About 15,000 people live and work at the fort and obtain drinking water from wells in close proximity to contaminated source areas. The Chena River also runs through the contaminated area of Fort Wainwright.