Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most common welding programs available in Alaska.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 two years to complete and are usually 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don't forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Alaska employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder's ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.