How to Find the Right Welder Certificate Program near Juneau Alaska
Finding the right welding technical school near Juneau AK is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Programs
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Juneau AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Juneau AK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Juneau AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain 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 select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Juneau AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Juneau AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Juneau AK employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure 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 Juneau AK welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Juneau AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, verify that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Juneau AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly 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 work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need 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 knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Weekend Welding Courses Juneau AK
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Weekend Welding Courses and wanted more information on the topic Training To Become A Welder. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Juneau AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]; Russian: Джуно), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. Located in the Gastineau Channel and the Alaskan panhandle, it is a unified municipality and the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau was named the capital of Alaska in 1906, when the government of what was then the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage. Juneau experiences a daily influx of roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.