How to Select a Welding Trade School near Lone Pine California
Finding the right welding school near Lone Pine CA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly 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 reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Lone Pine CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Lone Pine CA employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Lone Pine CA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Lone Pine CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Lone Pine CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lone Pine 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 welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm 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 working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lone Pine CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Lone Pine CA home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lone Pine CA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lone Pine CA?
Perhaps you live in the Lone Pine 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.
Lone Pine, California
Lone Pine is a census designated place (CDP) in Inyo County, California, United States. Lone Pine is located 16 miles (26 km) south-southeast of Independence, at an elevation of 3727 feet (1136 m). The population was 2,035 at the 2010 census, up from 1,655 at the 2000 census. The town is located in the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills. From possible choices of urban, rural, and frontier, the Census Bureau identifies this area as "frontier". The local hospital, Southern Inyo Hospital, offers standby emergency services. On March 26, 1872, the very large Lone Pine earthquake destroyed most of the town and killed 27 of its 250 to 300 residents.
The Paiute people inhabited the Owens Valley area from prehistoric times. These early inhabitants are known to have established trading routes which extended to the Pacific Central Coast, delivering materials originating in the Owens Valley to such tribes as the Chumash.
In 1864, a geological survey team from California discovered Mt. Whitney and named the peak after the team's leader, Josiah Whitney. One member of the survey team, Clarence King, made two unsuccessful attempts at climbing the mountain. Returning in 1871, he summited what was then believed to be Mt. Whitney, but turned out to be Mt. Langley. Two years later, he returned and summited Mt. Whitney on September 19, 1873, only one month after the actual first ascent was made by three residents of Lone Pine: Charles Begole, J J. Lucas, and Albert H. Johnson. They reportedly reached the summit at noon on August 18, 1873, starting from Kern Canyon, where they had gone for a fishing trip.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lone Pine CA area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation 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. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have 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 find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Trade Program Lone Pine CA
Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lone Pine CA.