How to Pick a Welder Training Class near South Naknek Alaska
Enrolling in the right welding school near South Naknek AK is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the South Naknek AK.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of South Naknek AK employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. 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
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welding Tech Programs
Once you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the South Naknek AK area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types 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, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in South Naknek AK for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the South Naknek 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 crucial that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of South Naknek AK contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect 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 comparable to what you will be using 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 South Naknek AK welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your South Naknek AK home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near South Naknek AK, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Enrolling in a Welding School Near South Naknek AK?
Perhaps you live in the South Naknek 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.
South Naknek, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 97.5 square miles (253 km2), of which, 95.1 square miles (246 km2) of it is land and 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2) of it (2.53%) is water.
South Naknek first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as one of two unincorporated Inuit villages called "Paugwik." This apparently also included the future village of Naknek on the north side of the Naknek River. There is confusion as to whether the villages listed on the 1890 census, Pakwik (population 93) and Kinuyak (AKA Kinghiak) (population 51) were on either the south or north side of the river. Not until the 1940 census would South Naknek return again, and (for the first time) under that name. It did not appear in 1950, but returned again in 1960 and in every successive census. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) as of the 1980 census. Within the present boundaries is also the former village of Savonoski, which appeared once on the 1940 census with a population of 20, located east of the village of South Naknek (now a ghost). This is not to be confused with a village of the same name, which was evacuated following the Katmai eruptions of 1912.
As of the census of 2000, there were 137 people, 46 households, and 33 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1.4 people per square mile (0.6/km²). There were 137 housing units at an average density of 1.4/sq mi (0.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 13.14% White, 1.46% Black or African American, 83.94% Native American, 0.73% Asian and 0.73% Pacific Islander. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater South Naknek AK area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across 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 setting.
Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School South Naknek AK
Choosing the right welder training program will undoubtedly 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 between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in South Naknek AK.