How to Find the Right Welder Training Class near Blythe California
Finding the right welder trade school near Blythe CA is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Blythe CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Blythe CA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Blythe CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Blythe CA 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 also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Blythe CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Blythe CA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Blythe CA welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Blythe CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Blythe CA, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Blythe CA?
Perhaps you live in the Blythe California 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.
Blythe is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Palo Verde Valley of the Lower Colorado River Valley region, an agricultural area and part of the Colorado Desert along the Colorado River, approximately 224 miles (360 km) east of Los Angeles and 150 miles (240 km) west of Phoenix. Blythe was named after Thomas H. Blythe, a San Francisco financier, who established primary water rights to the Colorado River in the region in 1877. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916. The population was 20,817 at the 2010 census.
In the early or mid-1870s, William Calloway (known as Oliver Calloway in some sources), an engineer and a former captain of the 1st California Infantry Regiment, explored an area across the Colorado River from Ehrenberg, Arizona and found its potential for development. Calloway made preliminary surveys and filed land claims under the Swamp Land Act of 1850. He interested the wealthier Thomas Henry Blythe (real last name Williams), who was born in Mold, Wales, to undertake development and settlement of an "empire" located next to the Colorado. On July 17, 1877, Blythe filed his first claim for Colorado River water on what was to become the "Blythe Intake". Blythe appointed another man named George Irish as manager to assist Calloway in building an irrigation system. Calloway died in a Chemehuevi attack in March 28, 1880, and was replaced by C.C. Miller, the father of Frank Augustus Miller. Thomas Blythe died on April 4, 1883; his only revisit to the valley was in November 1882. After his death, the work in the valley halted and Blythe's estate subsequently went into litigation between his illegitimate daughter Florence and other claimants, the trial beginning on 1889. By the 1900s, Florence was awarded the estate, after several years of preceding rulings in favor of her and appeals against her.
Frank Murphy and Ed Williams, who were involved on the cattle industry in southeastern Arizona, came to the area in 1904 and were convinced it was well-suited for cattle and farming. With the Hobson brothers from Ventura County, they bought Blythe's estate and formed the Palo Verde Land and Water Company. During 1911-12, W.F. Holt, who helped develop nearby Imperial Valley, was the company's general manager.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Blythe CA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Technical Program Blythe CA
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Blythe CA.