How to Enroll In a Welder Trade School near Helendale California
Selecting the right welding school near Helendale CA is an important first step to beginning 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 choices, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when evaluating welding technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Helendale CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Helendale CA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welding Vocational School
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 numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Helendale CA area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Helendale CA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Helendale CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Helendale CA employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Helendale CA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Helendale CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Helendale CA, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Helendale CA?
Perhaps you live in the Helendale 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.
It is on historic Route 66, west of the Mojave Freeway (I-15), between Barstow and Victorville. The name Helendale is used by the USPS, while Silver Lakes is used by the US Census. The 2010 United States census reported Silver Lakes's population was 5,623.
Several Native American tribes lived in the area, namely the Mojave and Serrano. It is believed that the first White man to travel through was the Franciscan priest Francisco Garcés in 1776. He was exploring a route to the missions on the Coast following the Mojave River.
The original name for Helendale was Point of Rocks. There were several early trails and roadways through this area of the Mojave Desert, including the Mojave Trail, which was used by the Indians and Father Garcés, the Spanish Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, the Mormon Trail, et cetera.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Helendale CA area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Helendale CA
Picking the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Helendale CA.
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