How to Pick a Welder Technical School near Ambler Alaska
Choosing the ideal welding school near Ambler AK is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Training Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Ambler AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Ambler AK employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things 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
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Trade Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Ambler AK area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Ambler AK for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established 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 Ambler AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Ambler AK contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar 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 Ambler AK welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Ambler AK home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors 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 working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ambler AK, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Ambler AK?
Perhaps you live in the Ambler Alaska area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
Ambler (Inupiaq: Ivisaappaat, IPA: [ivisaːpːaːt]) is a city in Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 258, down from 309 in 2000. The city is located in the large Iñupiaq language speaking region of Alaska, and the local dialect is known as the Ambler dialect (related to the Shugnak dialect). As of 1999[update], over 91% of the community speaks and understands the language (Kraus, 1999), with many young children actively learning the language in school. It has important relationships with the "hub" city of Kotzebue, Alaska and has important relationships with Maniilaq Health Association.
Ambler is located at 67°05′06″N 157°51′37″W / 67.085000°N 157.860331°W / 67.085000; -157.860331, on the north bank of the Kobuk River, near the confluence of the Ambler and the Kobuk Rivers. It lies 45 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is 138 miles northeast of Kotzebue, 30 miles northwest of Kobuk and 30 miles downriver from Shungnak. Ambler is located in the Kotzebue Recording District.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.8 square miles (28 km2). 9.5 square miles (25 km2) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it (11.91%) is water.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ambler AK area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade Program Ambler AK
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Ambler AK.