How to Select the Right Welding Certification Program near Haines Alaska
Finding the right welding trade school near Haines AK is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover 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 trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Haines AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Haines AK employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities 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 an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Haines AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Haines 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Haines AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Haines AK contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Haines AK welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Haines AK home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Haines AK, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Haines AK area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to 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 discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Haines AK?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Haines Alaska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Haines (Tlingit: Deishú) is a census-designated place located in Haines Borough, Alaska, United States. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
The area around present-day Haines was called Dtehshuh or "end of the trail" by the Chilkat group of Tlingit. It received this name because they could portage (carry) their canoes from the trail they used to trade with the interior, which began at the outlet of the Chilkat River, to Dtehshuh and save 20 miles (32 km) of rowing around the Chilkat Peninsula.
The first European, George Dickinson, an agent for the North West Trading Company, settled at Dtehshuh in 1879. In 1881, the Chilkat asked Sheldon Jackson to send missionaries to the area. Samuel Hall Young, a Presbyterian minister, was sent. Jackson built the Chilkat Mission and school at Dtehshuh in 1881, on land given to the church by the Chilkat. The Mission was renamed "Haines" in 1884 in honor of Francina E. Haines, the chairwoman of the committee that raised funds for its construction.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Haines AK
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder Class. However, as we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Haines AK.