How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Reseda California
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Reseda CA is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns 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 starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in Reseda CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by California technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by California community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Reseda CA.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Reseda CA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Reseda CA employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain Reseda CA area community colleges and vocational schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Reseda CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for Reseda CA non-accredited schools. Also, 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. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various Reseda CA 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Reseda CA employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Reseda CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Reseda CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the Reseda CA area welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see 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 Reseda CA, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welding position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask Welding candidates is "What compelled you to pick Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Welder and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Select the Right Welding Tech School near Reseda CA
Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Reseda CA.
About Reseda California
Reseda, Los Angeles
Reseda /rəˈsiːdə/ is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1912, and its central business district started in 1915. The neighborhood was devoted to agriculture for many years. Earthquakes struck the area in 1971 and 1994.
The neighborhood has fifteen public and five private schools. The community includes public parks, a senior center and a regional branch library. Parts of Reseda have been used in several motion picture and television productions.
The area now known as Reseda, like much of Los Angeles County, originally was inhabited by Native Americans of the Tongva tribe who lived close to what is now known as the Los Angeles River.
On land that was originally part of the San Fernando Mission, Reseda originated in 1912 as the town of Marian. It was named after Marian Otis Chandler, the daughter of the Los Angeles Times publisher, Harrison Gray Otis and wife of Harry Chandler. The name Reseda itself refers to the fragrant plant Reseda odorata (English name is mignonette) which was commonly found in gardens of the time and is native to many areas with a Mediterranean climate.
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