Welder Training Schools near Shafter CA 93263

How to Enroll In a Welding Certification Program near Shafter California 

Shafter CA welder working on pipeLocating the ideal welder trade school near Shafter CA is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs

There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in Shafter CA.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by California trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares 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 future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder in Shafter CA.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Shafter CA electrician welding poleThere are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Shafter CA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Shafter CA employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.

Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain Shafter CA area community colleges and trade schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want 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 verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

How to Select a Welder Trade Program

Shafter CA construction worker weldingOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Shafter CA area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose 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 need to consider before picking a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 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 acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for Shafter 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.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other Shafter CA metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 local welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher 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  Shafter CA employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Shafter CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Shafter CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the  Shafter CA area welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire 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, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Shafter CA, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Why Did You Decide to Become a Welder?

When preparing to interview for a Welding job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Welding prospects is "What drove you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Welding Technician and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.

Choose the Ideal Welding Technical School near Shafter CA

Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller 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 up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Shafter CA.

About Shafter California

Shafter, California

Shafter is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield.[8] The population was 16,988 at the 2010 census, up from 12,736 at the 2000 census.

The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include Myricks Corner, North Shafter, Smith's Corner, and Thomas Lane.

The city of Shafter began as a loading dock along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The community was named for General William Rufus Shafter who commanded US Forces in Cuba during the Spanish–American War.[8] Property was sold beginning in 1914 and the city incorporated in 1938.

The first post office opened in 1898, moved in 1902, closed in 1905.[8] A new postal service started in 1914.[8]

 

 

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