How to Select a Welding Trade School near Atherton California
Locating the ideal welder vocational school near Atherton CA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Atherton CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by California technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by California community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Atherton CA.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Atherton CA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Atherton CA employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific Atherton CA area community colleges and trade schools that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Atherton CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds 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 example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for Atherton CA schools that are not accredited. Also, 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 welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various Atherton CA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Atherton CA employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Atherton CA welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select must be within commuting distance of your Atherton CA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the Atherton CA area welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atherton CA, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Welding Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Welding applicants is "What made you select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a Welding Tech, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Welder and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School near Atherton CA
Picking the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite 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 frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect 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 dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Atherton CA.
About Atherton California
Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 7,159 as of 2013. Atherton is ranked to be the wealthiest city in the United States, and is regularly ranked among the most expensive zip codes in the country.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks, and was a flag stop on the California Coast Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of the large estates who lived north of Menlo Park. The entire area was called Menlo Park. It had been part of the Rancho de las Pulgas that had covered most of the area, which is now southern San Mateo County. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911.
In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. It was decided to honor Faxon Dean Atherton who had been one of the first property owners in the south peninsula and name the Town for him. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923. That same year, in 1923, the Menlo Polo Club was founded in Atherton.
Faxon D. Atherton, a native of Massachusetts, had spent several years in Chile and Hawaii as a trader in tallow, hides and merchandise. His friend and business associate, Thomas Lark, had written to him "there is education available for your children and a dignity of living on landed estates down the San Francisco peninsula (that is) convenient and accessible." Atherton purchased 640 acres (2.6 km2) for ten dollars an acre ($2470/km²) in 1860. His home, "Valparaíso Park", was built several years later. It was simple in design and ample for his family of seven children.
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