How to Select the Right Welder Certification Course near Eielson Afb Alaska
Finding the ideal welder school near Eielson Afb AK is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Eielson Afb AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Eielson Afb AK employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Tech Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Eielson Afb AK area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Eielson Afb AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree 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 reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Eielson Afb AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality 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 Eielson Afb AK employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. 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 Eielson Afb AK welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Eielson Afb AK home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Eielson Afb AK, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Eielson Afb AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Eielson Afb AK?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Eielson Afb Alaska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson AFB was named in honor of polar pilot Carl Ben Eielson. The 354 FW is currently commanded by Col. Benjamin W. Bishop. Bishop is a Command Pilot with more than 2,500 flight hours, including over 340 combat hours. He's flown the T-37, T-38, F-15E, F-35A, and F-16 C/D aircraft. He is responsible for providing realistic combat adversary training to United States and allied forces in air, space, and information operations via RED FLAG-Alaska, Pacific Air Forces’ premier multinational large-force training exercise, and through PACAF's only Aggressor Squadron. He also directs the preparation and deployment of Airmen in support of global operations, enables the staging of forces through Eielson, and integrates air component capabilities into the US Army's I Corps through the 1st Air Support Operations Group. Additionally, Colonel Bishop is overseeing preparations for the arrival of the F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Eielson Air Force Base.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational Program Eielson Afb AK
Picking the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Training Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Eielson Afb AK.