Alaska offers ample career opportunities for qualified welders, but first, you must obtain the skills and knowledge to get certified. There are several excellent welding schools in Alaska to help you achieve this goal.
Here we discuss how to become a welder in Alaska, including welding schools, training programs, and the certification process. We will also look at potential career opportunities and outlooks for the field.
What Does a Welder Do?
Welders do more than join metal together. They must be able to read and understand blueprints, know the properties of various metals, and apply different techniques based on the conditions present.
As a result, welders perform various tasks depending on where they work. For example, welding careers in Alaska are often related to building and bridge construction, construction and assembly of gas and oil pipelines, and shipbuilding.
Certified welders can find work in a variety of industrial environments, including:
- manufacturing facilities
- chemical plants
- power plants
Welding Schools Near Me in Alaska
There are basic educational requirements to become a welder in Alaska and many high-quality training programs to help you meet them. In addition, certain portions of training can be done online, making those stages more accessible for students who have other obligations. However, a large portion of your welding training is hands-on and requires time in a shop environment.
Some aspiring welders begin training in high school. Several Alaska public schools provide career tracks where students can learn the skills needed to gain entry-level employment after graduation.
If you missed out on that chance, look into programs at these top welding schools in Alaska:
Alaska Vocational Technical Center
The Alaska Vocational Technical Center focuses on providing students with the hands-on education and skills needed to achieve career-long success in welding.
Students must earn AWS Unlimited Thickness Structural Certification and ASME section IX, 6G Pipe, Pipe Certification to pass this program.
- Seward, AK
- (907) 224-3322, (800) 478-5389
- Programs: Industrial welding
- Program Duration: 38 weeks (1080 hours)
- Average cost: $25,000 (including tuition, feeHome | ALASKA VOCATIONAL TECHNICAL CENTER (avtec.edu)s, supplies, and room and board)
Kenai Peninsula College
Enjoy the natural grandeur and beauty of Alaska while pursuing a welding certificate at Kenai Peninsula College! A full year of training is provided to ensure maximum competency and skill.
- Soldotna, AK
- (907) 262-0330
- Programs: KPC Welding Certificate
- Program duration: One year
- Average cost: $235/credit
Northern Industrial Training
Northern Industrial Training provides vocational training with an eye on helping each student to become a leader in his or her chosen field.
- Palmer, AK (907) 357-6400
- Anchorage, AK (907) 743-7700
- Programs: Structural Welding 1, Pipe Welding, Fabrication Welding
- Program duration: eight weeks, eight weeks, four weeks
- Average cost: $9,000, $10,000, $5,000
University of Alaska Anchorage
At the University of Alaska Anchorage, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge yourself as you enjoy the advanced welding programs.
AWS certified testing center, scholarships, and financial aid available.
- Anchorage, AK
- (907) 786-1480
- Programs: Advanced welding occupational endorsement certificate
- Program Duration: one year
- Average cost: $7,000
University of Alaska Southeast
Learning is a lifestyle at the University of Alaska Southeast, where state-of-the-art programs are available for the welding certifications you’ll need.
- Juneau, AK (877) 465-4827
- Ketchikan, AK (888) 550-6177
- Sitka, AK (800) 478-6653
- Programs: General Welding Occupational Endorsement, welder certifications (AWS and ASME)
- Program Duration: one year
- Average cost: $7,000
Welding Career Opportunities in Alaska
Alaska welders can expect to find career opportunities in oil and natural gas industries, shipbuilding, and heavy construction, thanks to its rich natural resources. Manufacturing is another common industry that frequently requires skilled welders.
How Much Do Welders Make in Alaska?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, welders in Alaska are among the highest-paid in the country. The most recently reported average annual salary for a welder in Alaska is $70,490, which is $5,874 per month or $33.89 hourly.
These figures surpass the national average 2020 salaries of $44,190 per year or $21.25 per hour listed by the BLS.
Keep in mind that not all welders will make these amounts. Entry-level positions tend to pay lower, with Indeed reporting an average base salary of about $28.50 for a beginning welder in Alaska. On the other hand, welders with more than 10 years of experience should expect a starting base salary of at least $30.00 per hour in the state.
Major Employers of Welders in Alaska
There are myriad companies hiring welders in Alaska, ranging from fast food companies to car manufacturers. Glassdoor lists the following as some of the top companies for individuals looking to start welding careers in Alaska:
- Vigor: Machinery manufacturing, average welder base pay $26-$28/hr
- STRUCTURAL Technologies: Construction, average welder base salary $48,510-$52,412/yr
- ASRC: Petroleum and natural gas exploration, average welder salary $25-$41/hr
- Jacobs: Architectural and engineering services, average welder salary $71,121-$77,422/yr
How To Become a Certified Welder in Alaska
Alaska does not have any state-specific requirements for welders. However, many welding schools in Alaska require certification through either the American Welding Society or ASME. These organizations create industry standards and certify welders in specific areas and processes.
Employers recognize the value of the training required to achieve these certifications, so AWS and ASME certifications can help you find employment and advance welding careers in Alaska. Additionally, you may find your career stalled or have trouble finding employment without the appropriate certification.
For most potential welders, the training process includes:
- Completing high school or obtaining a GED
- Complete a degree or certificate program in welding
- Get on-the-job experience through an apprenticeship or internship
- Earn AWS welder certificate
Do You Need a License to be a Welder in Alaska?
Alaska does not have a statewide welder license. However, some independent welders may want to obtain a general contractor license if their work is more broad in scope. Visit our Alaska general contractor license guide for more information about getting that license.
Alaska Welding FAQs
You have many things to consider as you explore welding careers in Alaska. The following FAQ can help clear up any remaining questions and point you in the right direction to find additional information.
1. How Long Does It Take to Become a Welder?
Most welding training and certification programs take a year or less to complete, although required apprenticeships or internships may extend that time. In general, you can expect to go from exploring welding schools in Alaska to employability within 12-18 months.
2. Does a Welder Need Insurance in Alaska?
In general, a welder does not need commercial insurance in Alaska. However, the high cost of tools and equipment makes it a good idea, especially if you are self-employed.
You can easily request a free commercial insurance quote from our partners using the tool below.
3. Who Can I Contact If I Have Questions?
Local resources are often the best avenue if you need more information about how to become a welder in Alaska. Local welding schools in Alaska are a good place to start. You may also want to contact trade organizations, such as the American Petroleum Institute or the American Welding Society.
For More License and Career Guides
To find out how to become a Welder in another state, start here.
For information on other trades in Alaska, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements: