How to Select the Best Welding Degree Program near Kenai Alaska
Selecting the ideal welding technical school near Kenai AK is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Kenai AK area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Kenai AK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Kenai AK area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important 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 pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Kenai 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Kenai AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Kenai AK contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 Kenai AK welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Kenai AK home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kenai AK, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. 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 protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Kenai AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate 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. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Accredited Welding Schools Kenai AK
Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Accredited Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Welding Certificate Courses. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some 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 right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Kenai AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.