How to Enroll In the Right Welding Technical School near Valdez Alaska
Selecting the ideal welding vocational school near Valdez AK is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder trade 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 develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Valdez AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly 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 two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential 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 proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Valdez AK employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds 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 location and make certain that the welding technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Programs
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Valdez AK area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Valdez AK for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place 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 assistance program. The schools must have associations 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 Valdez AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 additionally that it has the network of Valdez AK employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Valdez AK welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Valdez AK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Valdez AK, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Valdez AK area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Valdez AK?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Valdez Alaska area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Valdez (/vælˈdiːz, vəlˈdɛz/; Alutiiq: Suacit) is a city in Valdez-Cordova Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the city is 3,976, down from 4,036 in 2000. The city was named in 1790 after the Spanish Navy Minister Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A former Gold Rush town, it is located at the head of a fjord on the eastern side of Prince William Sound. The port did not flourish until after the road link to Fairbanks was constructed in 1899. It suffered catastrophic damage during the 1964 Alaska earthquake, and is located near the site of the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker spill. Today it is one of the most important ports in Alaska, a commercial fishing port as well as a freight terminal.
The port of Valdez was named in 1790 by the Spanish explorer Salvador Fidalgo after the Spanish naval officer Antonio Valdés y Fernández Bazán. A scam to lure prospectors off the Klondike Gold Rush trail led to a town being developed there in 1898. Some steamship companies promoted the Valdez Glacier Trail as a better route for miners to reach the Klondike gold fields and discover new ones in the Copper River country of interior Alaska than that from Skagway. The prospectors who believed the promotion found that they had been deceived. The glacier trail was twice as long and steep as reported, and many men died attempting the crossing, in part by contracting scurvy during the long cold winter without adequate supplies. The town did not flourish until after the construction of the Richardson Highway in 1899, which connected Valdez and Fairbanks. With a new road and its ice-free port, Valdez became permanently established as the first overland supply route into the interior of Alaska. The highway was open in summer-only until 1950, when it was operated as a year-round route.
In 1907, a shootout between two rival railroad companies ended Valdez's hope of becoming the railroad link from tidewater to the Kennicott Copper Mine. The mine, located in the heart of the Wrangell-St.Elias Mountains, was one of the richest copper ore deposits on the continent. The exact location of the right-of-way dispute, in which one man was killed and several injured, is located at the southern entrance of Keystone Canyon on the Valdez side. A half-completed tunnel in the canyon marks the end of railroad days in Valdez. A rail line to Kennicott was later established from the coastal city of Cordova.
Pick the Ideal Welding Technical School Valdez AK
Picking the best welder school will probably 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 Welding Certification Classes. 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 necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Valdez AK.