How to Pick the Best Welding Technical School near Pelican Alaska
Locating the ideal welder school near Pelican AK is an essential first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Pelican AK area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Pelican AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some 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 specific types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate 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 select readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Pelican AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two important ones that most 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 choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose 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). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Pelican 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 as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Pelican AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Pelican AK contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Pelican AK welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Pelican AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pelican AK, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Pelican AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 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 degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Night School Welding Courses Pelican AK
Picking the ideal welder training program 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 Night School Welding Courses and wanted more information on the topic Welding Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Pelican AK.
Find More Welding Locations in Alaska
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.