How to Enroll In a Welding Degree Program near Lemoore California
Finding the ideal welder school near Lemoore CA is an important 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate 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 concerns 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 sensible 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Lemoore CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to teach 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 two years to finish 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Lemoore CA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some 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 various kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
How to Pick a Welder Vocational Program
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate 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 Lemoore CA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on 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 evaluate before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic 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 has, for instance 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Lemoore CA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships 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 help students find employment and establish associations within the Lemoore CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lemoore CA contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Lemoore CA welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Lemoore CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lemoore CA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lemoore CA?
Perhaps you live in the Lemoore 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.
Lemoore (formerly, La Tache and Lee Moore's) is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Lemoore is located 7.5 miles (12 km) west-southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 230 feet (70 m). It is part of the Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260). The population was 24,531 at the 2010 Census. The California Department of Finance estimated that Lemoore's population was 26,369 on January 1, 2017.
The maps published by Thos. H. Thompson in 1892, shows three high water levels of the giant Tulare Lake in different years. The highest lake level, the one Thompson labeled "original lake line" skirts or touches the 1892 town of Lemoore's south-west corner at the current intersection of State Route 41 and State Route 198. On Thompson's map, Lemoore is on the east bank, and about five miles away Lemoore Naval Air Station would have been on the west bank of the pointy northern tip of Tulare Lake at its maximum size. At the extreme northern point of Tulare Lake was its natural, occasional "flood year" spillway northbound into Bogg Slough, Fresno Slough, and the San Joaquin River's watershed, onward to the sea at San Francisco Bay. The present (2014) remaining marshy remnants of Bogg Slough, with its unfarmed oxbow structures may be the last of their kind to avoid the plow in the Kings-San Joaquin river system. This "summit," or spillway is located just a few miles north-west of Lemoore, off Grangeville Blvd at elevation 210 feet (64 m). The spillway was wide, shallow and confusing, choked with tall tule rushes, and without observable landmarks. Only one commercial boat is known to have sailed from Tulare Lake to the San Francisco delta. Tulare Lake had huge economic importance in the region, both for the very large population of Indians, and the white pioneers. The lake supported a large commercial fishery feeding San Francisco, and a steam powered ferry servicing several towns and settlements. The receding lake continually opened up new agricultural lands for settlement. Because of its source streams being diverted, the last time the lake overflowed was 1878, and today it no longer exists.
Because the natural summit or border between the Kings River basin and the San Joaquin River's watershed, and the Kings River itself nearly intersect near Lemoore, a number of huge water works that control regional water flow are also located nearby. For example, in flood years the Kings River is diverted west into the so-called "North Fork Kings River," to Crescent Weir and related major levees eastward to the north-flowing Fresno Slough and to the sea, preventing a resurgence ("flooding") of Tulare Lake to the south. This "switch point" is located just north of Lemoore right off of Highway 41 and Elgin Ave at the New Island Weirs. In many cases the prehistoric Kings River bed has been obliterated and new channels have been constructed. However, as of 2014, in satellite images (such as Google maps, etc.) the remains of many of the old channels can still be detected.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Lemoore CA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Tech Program Lemoore CA
Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Lemoore CA.