How to Select a Welder Training Class near Shungnak Alaska
Selecting the ideal welder vocational school near Shungnak AK is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Shungnak AK.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Shungnak AK employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Programs
After you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Shungnak AK area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Shungnak AK for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Shungnak AK welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Shungnak AK employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Shungnak AK welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your Shungnak AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region 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 be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Shungnak AK, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near Shungnak AK?
Perhaps you live in the Shungnak 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.
Shungnak originally was settled in 1899, approximately 10 miles to the east along the Kobuk River. The name "Shungnak" is derived from the Eskimo term "issingnak," which means jade, a stone found in the surrounding area. In the 1920s, erosion along the river caused many residents to abandon the old townsite. In 1927, they resettled at a site originally known as "Kochuk." Residents decided to rename Kochuk as the new Shungnak. At the old Shungnak village, some residents chose to remain. To avoid confusion between the two villages, Old Shungnak became Kobuk in 1928.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.6 square miles (25 km2), of which 8.4 square miles (22 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it (13.10%) is water.
The present Shungnak first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. The Shungnak listed on the 1910 and 1920 censuses was for the Old Shungnak, which became Kobuk in 1928. This Shungnak has reported on every census since 1930. It was formally incorporated as a city in 1967.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Shungnak AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Shungnak AK
Picking the right welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Shungnak AK.