How to Select a Welder Trade School near Garden Grove California
Locating the right welding technical school near Garden Grove CA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, 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 driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welding vocational 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 a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Garden Grove CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by California technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Garden Grove CA.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Garden Grove CA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Garden Grove CA employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific Garden Grove CA area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welder Technical School
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Garden Grove CA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Garden Grove CA schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other Garden Grove 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 assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 industry, but additionally that it has the network of Garden Grove CA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Garden Grove CA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Garden Grove CA home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the Garden Grove CA area welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Garden Grove CA, verify that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welding Professional?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask Welding applicants is "What made you choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to Welding, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Choose the Best Welding Technical School near Garden Grove CA
Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend a few 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 right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Garden Grove CA.
About Garden Grove California
Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) south of the city of Los Angeles. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.
Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries.
In 1933, much of the town's central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.
An annual event held over Memorial Day weekend, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival is one of the largest community festivals in the western United States, attracting an estimated 250,000 visitors. It began in 1958 and celebrates the city's agricultural past, which includes cultivating crops such as chili peppers, oranges, walnuts and strawberries. Part of the festivities include the cutting of the world's largest strawberry shortcake, carnival rides and vendors and a celebrity-filled parade. Numerous Garden Grove organizations, including the Miss Garden Grove Scholarship Program, are part of the Memorial Day weekend festivities every year. In commemoration of Garden Grove's 50th anniversary, the city painted some of its fire hydrants with a design that featured a strawberry, recognizing the festival as a big part of Garden Grove's history.
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