How to Select the Right Welding Technical School near Shafter California
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Shafter CA is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Shafter CA area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Shafter CA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Technical Schools
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Shafter CA area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national 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 single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Shafter CA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The 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 help students find employment and establish associations within the Shafter CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Shafter CA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Shafter CA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Shafter CA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses 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, more than likely 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shafter CA, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Shafter CA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need 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 earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Best Night Welding Programs Shafter CA
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Best Night Welding Programs and wanted more information on the topic Compare Accredited Welding Programs. However, 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 prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Shafter CA.
Other California Welder Locations
Shafter is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield. The population was 16,988 at the 2010 census, up from 12,736 at the 2000 census. The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include Myricks Corner, North Shafter, Smith's Corner, and Thomas Lane.
The city of Shafter began as a loading dock along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The community was named for General William Rufus Shafter who commanded US Forces in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. Property was sold beginning in 1914 and the city incorporated in 1938.
Also of historical note, Shafter is home to Minter Field, which began operations in June 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. Approximately 7,000 troops were stationed at the airstrip which hosted up to 600 prisoners of war as well. Today it is publicly owned and administered by the Minter Field Airport District and serves as an industrial center and airport for crop dusters and private aircraft. The Minter Field Museum is maintained on location as well.
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