How to Select the Right Welding Training Class near Craig Alaska
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Craig 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 know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder vocational 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Craig AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Craig AK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Craig AK area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Craig AK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some 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 placement program. These schools must 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 utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Craig 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 important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Craig AK employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Craig AK welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Craig AK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. 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 some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Craig AK, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Craig AK area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, 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 use 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 want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Craig AK?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Craig Alaska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census, down from 1,397 in 2000.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Craig AK
Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in 6 Week Welding Course. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different 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 students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Craig AK.