How to Enroll In the Right Welder Trade School near Kotzebue Alaska
Selecting the right welding vocational school near Kotzebue AK is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish 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 Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Kotzebue AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Kotzebue AK employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Topics to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Kotzebue AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. 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 below are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Kotzebue AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Kotzebue AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Kotzebue AK contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Kotzebue AK welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Kotzebue AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Kotzebue AK, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Kotzebue AK area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Kotzebue AK?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Kotzebue Alaska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Kotzebue (/ˈkɒtsəbjuː/ KOTS-ə-bew) or Kikiktagruk (Inupiaq: Qikiqtaġruk [qekeqtɑʁʐuk]) is a city in the Northwest Arctic Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the borough's seat, by far its largest community and the economic and transportation hub of the subregion of Alaska encompassing the borough. The population of the city was 3,201 as of the 2010 census, up from 3,082 in 2000.
There is archaeological evidence that Inupiat people have lived at Kotzebue since at least the 15th century. Owing to its location and relative size, Kotzebue served as a trading and gathering center for the various communities in the region. The Noatak, Selawik and Kobuk Rivers drain into the Kotzebue Sound near Kotzebue to form a center for transportation to points inland. In addition to people from interior villages, inhabitants of the Russian Far East came to trade at Kotzebue. Furs, seal-oil, hides, rifles, ammunition, and seal skins were some of the items traded. People also gathered for competitions like the current World Eskimo Indian Olympics. With the arrival of the whalers, traders, gold seekers, and missionaries the trading center expanded.
Kotzebue was originally known as Qikiqtaġruk, which means "peninsula" in Iñupiatun, the language of the Iñupiat. Kotzebue gets its name from the Kotzebue Sound, which was named after Otto von Kotzebue, a Baltic German who explored the sound while searching for the Northwest Passage in the service of Russia in 1818.
Find the Best Welding Technical Program Kotzebue AK
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn How To Weld. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kotzebue AK.