Welder Training Schools near Bakersfield CA 93301

How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Bakersfield California 

Bakersfield CA welder working on pipeChoosing the ideal welder technical school near Bakersfield CA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen welding 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 Programs

There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in Bakersfield CA.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by California trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by California community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Bakersfield CA.

Welding Certification Choices

Bakersfield CA electrician welding poleThere are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Bakersfield CA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with various kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Bakersfield CA employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

Online Welding Classes

Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific Bakersfield CA area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned 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 extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

How to Choose a Welding Trade Program

Bakersfield CA construction worker weldingOnce you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Bakersfield CA area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive 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, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for Bakersfield CA schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various Bakersfield CA metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships 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 essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of  Bakersfield CA employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Bakersfield CA welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Bakersfield CA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the  Bakersfield CA area welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Why Did You Desire to Be a Welder?

When prepping to interview for a Welder job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask Welding applicants is "What drove you to select Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welding Tech, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Welding, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding Welder and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.

Pick the Right Welding Trade Program near Bakersfield CA

Choosing the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Bakersfield CA.

About Bakersfield California

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield is a city in and the county seat of Kern County, California, United States. It covers about 142 square miles (370 km2)[13] near the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and the Central Valley region. Bakersfield's population is approximately 365,000,[14] making it the ninth-most populous city in California and the 52nd-most populous city in the nation. The Bakersfield–Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kern County, had a 2010 census population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in the United States.[15] The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000.

The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production. Kern County is the most productive oil producing county,[16] and the fourth most productive agricultural county (by value) in the United States.[17] Industries include natural gas and other energy extraction, aerospace, mining, petroleum refining, manufacturing, distribution, food processing, and corporate regional offices.[18] The city is also the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Bakersfield sound.

Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of Native American settlements dating back thousands of years.[19] The Yokuts lived in lodges[20] along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds. In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area. Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area. Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley. In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley.[21] The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860. The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.[22]

In 1862, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement founded in 1860 by the German-born Christian Bohna.[23] Among those attracted to the area by the California gold rush was Thomas Baker, a lawyer and former colonel in the militia of Ohio, his home state.[23][24] Baker moved to the banks of the Kern River in 1863,[23] at what became known as Baker's Field, which became a stopover for travelers.[25] By 1870, with a population of 600, what is now known as Bakersfield was becoming the principal town in Kern County.[23]

 

 

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