How to Choose a Welding Certification Course near El Segundo California
Locating the ideal welder technical school near El Segundo CA is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the El Segundo CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many El Segundo CA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the El Segundo CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn 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 sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in El Segundo CA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the El Segundo CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of El Segundo CA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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 El Segundo CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your El Segundo CA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Segundo CA, make sure that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near El Segundo CA?
Perhaps you live in the El Segundo 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.
El Segundo, California
El Segundo is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. El Segundo, from Spanish, means "The Second" in English. Located on the Santa Monica Bay, it was incorporated on January 18, 1917, and part of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. The population was 16,654 at the 2010 census, slightly up from 16,033 at the 2000 census.
The El Segundo and Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) Native American tribes thousands of years ago. The area was once a part of Rancho Sausal Redondo ("Round Willow Patch Ranch"). Rancho Sausal Redondo extended from Playa Del Rey in the North to Redondo Beach in the South. Originally a Mexican land grant owned by Antonio Ygnacio Avila, the rancho was later purchased by a Scottish baronet named Sir Robert Burnett. After his return to Scotland, the property was purchased by then current manager of the rancho, Daniel Freeman. Daniel Freeman sold portions of the rancho to several persons. George H. Peck owned the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of land the Chevron Refinery now sits on. Peck also developed land in neighboring El Porto where a street still bears his name. The city earned its name ("the second" in Spanish) as it was the site of the second Standard Oil refinery on the West Coast (the first was at Richmond in Northern California), when Standard Oil of California purchased the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of farm land in 1911.
The Douglas Aircraft Company plant in El Segundo was one of the major aircraft manufacturing facilities in California during World War II. It was one of the major producers of SBD Dauntless dive bombers, which achieved fame in the Battle of Midway. The facility, now operated by Northrop Grumman, is still an aircraft plant.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater El Segundo CA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain 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.
Select the Right Welding Technical School El Segundo CA
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in El Segundo CA.
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