How to Pick the Best Welding Training Program near Bakersfield California
Finding the right welder technical school near Bakersfield CA is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade 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.
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Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Bakersfield CA area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Bakersfield CA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Trade Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Bakersfield CA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bakersfield CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after 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. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Bakersfield CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Bakersfield CA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Bakersfield CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Bakersfield CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and consequently not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Bakersfield CA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must 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 perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Low Cost Evening Welding Schools Bakersfield CA
Choosing the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Low Cost Evening Welding Schools and wanted more information on the topic Requirements for Online Welding Schools. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Bakersfield CA.
Other California Welder Locations
Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 151 sq mi (390 km2) near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is around 380,000, making it the 9th-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd-largest metropolitan area in the United States. The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale, and Rosedale, has a population of over 520,000. Bakersfield is a charter city.
The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county and the fourth-most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States. Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices. The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.
Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years. The Yokuts lived in lodges along the branches of the Kern River delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley. The Bakersfield area, once a tule reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers, who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
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