How to Choose the Right Welding Vocational School near Mountain View California
Locating the right welding school near Mountain View CA is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Mountain View CA area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Mountain View CA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Mountain View CA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Mountain View CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established 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 associations within the Mountain View CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Mountain View CA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, 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. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Mountain View CA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Mountain View CA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree 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 an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. 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 satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Mountain View CA, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Mountain View CA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced 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 cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Top Online Welding Classes Near Me Mountain View CA
Choosing the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Online Welding Classes Near Me and wanted more information on the topic Top Part Time Welding Classes Near Me. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Mountain View CA.
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Mountain View, California
Mountain View is a city located in Santa Clara County, California, United States, named for its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. From its origins as a stagecoach stop, it grew to a large suburb with a pedestrian-friendly downtown and a population of 74,066. The city borders Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay to the north, Los Altos to the south, and Moffett Federal Airfield and Sunnyvale to the east.
Situated in the southern end of the peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the northwest corner of Santa Clara county, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, the first company to develop silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, was established in the city by William Shockley. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered in the city, including Google, Mozilla Foundation, Symantec, and Intuit. The original Byte Shop computer store was opened at 1063 El Camino Real, Mountain View, by Paul Terrell, and the first 50 Apple I computers were sold from that location. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority integrates the city with the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
The Mexican land grant of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was given in 1842 by Alta California Governor Juan Alvarado to Francisco Estrada. This grant was later passed on to Mariano Castro, who sold half of the land to Martin Murphy, Jr. Eventually, the former land grant became the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
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