How to Enroll In a Welding Training Program near Ketchikan Alaska
Locating the right welder school near Ketchikan AK is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when examining welder vocational 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 chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple options to obtain 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Ketchikan AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Ketchikan AK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welding Technical Schools
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Ketchikan AK area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Ketchikan 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Ketchikan AK welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Ketchikan AK employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Ketchikan AK welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Ketchikan AK home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate 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 needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding 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 getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ketchikan AK, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Ketchikan AK?
Perhaps you live in the Ketchikan 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.
Ketchikan (/ˈkɛtʃɪkæn/ KETCH-ih-kan;Tlingit: Kichx̱áan) is a city in and the borough seat of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough of Alaska. It is the state's southeasternmost major settlement. Downtown Ketchikan is a National Historic District. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the fifth-most populous city in the state, and tenth-most populous community when census-designated places are included. The surrounding borough, encompassing suburbs both north and south of the city along the Tongass Highway (most of which are commonly regarded as a part of Ketchikan, albeit not a part of the city itself), plus small rural settlements accessible mostly by water, registered a population of 13,477 in that same census. Estimates put the 2017 population at 13,754 people. Incorporated on August 25, 1900, Ketchikan is the earliest extant incorporated city in Alaska, because consolidation or unification elsewhere in Alaska resulted in dissolution of those communities' city governments. Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, so named in 1793 by Captain George Vancouver.
Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, emptying into the Tongass Narrows a short distance southeast of its downtown. "Ketchikan" comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean "the river belonging to Kitschk"; other accounts claim it means "Thundering Wings of an Eagle". In modern Tlingit this name is rendered as Kichx̱áan.
Ketchikan Creek served as a summer fish camp for Tlingit natives for untold years before the town was established by Mike Martin in 1885. He was sent to the area by an Oregon canning company to assess prospects. He established the saltery Clark & Martin and a general store with Nova Scotia native George Clark who had been foreman at a cannery that burned down.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Ketchikan AK area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin 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 performed online. These skills must 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 expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Technical Program Ketchikan AK
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Ketchikan AK.