How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Silverado California
Enrolling in the ideal welding vocational school near Silverado CA is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options available to receive 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs available in Silverado CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by California technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder in Silverado CA.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Silverado CA employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Silverado CA employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain Silverado CA area community colleges and vocational schools that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welder Tech Program
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Silverado CA area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available for Silverado CA schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other Silverado CA metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Silverado CA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to 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. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Silverado CA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Silverado CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the Silverado CA area welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Silverado CA, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask Welder applicants is "What compelled you to choose Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Welding Tech, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Choose the Right Welding Tech School near Silverado CA
Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Silverado CA.
About Silverado California
Founded in 1878, Silverado, a California Historical Landmark, is an unincorporated community in Silverado Canyon, which is located in the Santa Ana Mountains in eastern Orange County, California. Portions of the town sit on a former Mexican land grant Rancho Lomas de Santiago. Silverado is located at the boundaries of Cleveland National Forest. The area was mined for silver during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Remnants of mining operations such as the Blue Light Mine are still scattered in the area. Timber was harvested for use by the railroad. Coal was mined at the time in Carbondale. Ancient sea life fossils can be found within the sandstone cliffs in the area. During Spanish rule, the canyon was visited by Spanish explorers and was known by the name Cañada de la Madera (Timber Canyon). The town in Spain by that name bears a remarkable resemblance to Silverado. (The name Silverado is a type of Spanglish indicating a place where silver is found; a parallel formation to El Dorado.) The area enjoyed a renaissance in popularity in the 1940s as a hot springs vacation retreat, during which time hotels and restaurants prospered. A large number of weekend cabins were also built at that time. Home to a number of artists and craftsmen, the town now consists of about 2000 residents, a general store, a cafe, a public library, a church, two fire stations, a community center, and a post office. It hosts summer concerts, an annual Country Fair, and an Easter breakfast. A local landmark near Silverado is Cook's Corner, popular with motorcyclists.
Torrential rains from Pacific storms in 1939, and again in 1969, washed away homes and devastated roads and bridges. The latter storm resulted in a number of flood related casualties. On October 26, 2007, the Orange County Fire Authority issued a mandatory evacuation of the area due to the Santiago Fire. In September 2014, a fire burned approximately 1000 acres within the canyon. However, no structures were lost.
Today new homes and developments from nearby urban areas are encroaching on the canyons. The largest proposed projects are by the Irvine Company, which plans to build two developments stretching along Santiago Canyon Road from Jamboree Road past Irvine Lake. 
Coordinates: 33°44′46″N 117°38′10″W / 33.74611°N 117.63611°W / 33.74611; -117.63611
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