How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near El Segundo California
Enrolling in the right welder technical school near El Segundo CA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational 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.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in El Segundo CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by California technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily 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 finish and are most often offered by California community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in El Segundo CA.
Welder Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many El Segundo CA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain 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 additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to El Segundo CA employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by certain El Segundo CA area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the El Segundo CA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for El Segundo CA schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various El Segundo CA metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the regional 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 choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality 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 El Segundo CA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over 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 on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local El Segundo CA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your El Segundo CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction 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 training. Ask what the typical class size is for the El Segundo CA area welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near El Segundo CA, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer 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 protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welder position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask Welder candidates is "What made you decide on Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a Welder, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Welder and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Select the Ideal Welding Technical School near El Segundo CA
Choosing the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in El Segundo CA.
About El Segundo California
El Segundo, California
El Segundo is a suburban city of Los Angeles located in Los Angeles County, California, United States. El Segundo, from Spanish, means "The Second" in English. Located on the Santa Monica Bay, it was incorporated on January 18, 1917, and part of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments. The population was 16,654 at the 2010 census, slightly up from 16,033 at the 2000 census.
The El Segundo and Los Angeles coastal area was first settled by the Tongva (or Gabrieleños) and Chumash Native American tribes hundreds of years ago. The area was once a part of Rancho Sausal Redondo ("Round Willow Patch Ranch"). Rancho Sausal Redondo extended from Playa Del Rey in the North to Redondo Beach in the South. Originally a Mexican land grant owned by Antonio Ygnacio Avila, the rancho was later purchased by a Scottish baronet named Sir Robert Burnett. After his return to Scotland, the property was purchased by then current manager of the rancho, Daniel Freeman. Daniel Freeman sold portions of the rancho to multiple owners. George H. Peck owned the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of land the Chevron Refinery now sits on. Peck also developed land in neighboring El Porto where a street still bears his name. The city earned its name ("the second" in Spanish) as it was the site of the second Standard Oil refinery on the West Coast (the first was at Richmond in Northern California), when Standard Oil of California purchased the 840 acres (3.4 km2) of farm land in 1911.
The company was renamed Chevron in 1984, and the El Segundo refinery has entered its second century of operation. The city was incorporated in 1917.
The Douglas Aircraft Company plant in El Segundo was one of the major aircraft manufacturing facilities in California during World War II. It was one of the major producers of SBD Dauntless dive bombers, which achieved fame in the Battle of Midway. The facility, now operated by Northrop Grumman, is still an aircraft plant.
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