How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Dunsmuir California
Choosing the right welder trade school near Dunsmuir CA is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Dunsmuir CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Dunsmuir CA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Vocational Program
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Dunsmuir CA area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider 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 program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Dunsmuir CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing 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. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Dunsmuir CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Dunsmuir CA employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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 not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Dunsmuir CA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Dunsmuir CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat 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 working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dunsmuir CA, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Dunsmuir CA?
Perhaps you live in the Dunsmuir California area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there. In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.
The official city slogan is "Home of the best water on Earth". Dunsmuir is currently a hub for tourism in Northern California, with Interstate 5 in California passing through it. Visitors enjoy fishing, skiing, climbing, or sight-seeing. During the steam locomotive railroad era, it was notable for being the site of an important Central Pacific (and later Southern Pacific) railroad yard, where extra steam locomotives were added to assist trains on the grade to the north.
Located in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Dunsmuir is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors come to fish trout in the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, or to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors ski (both alpine and cross-country) and bicycle, or can hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Hedge Creek Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
Dunsmuir is located on the Upper Sacramento River, a blue ribbon trout stream that attracts fishermen from all over the world. Wild rainbow trout abound in the river. Additionally, the City has a private stocking permit from the Department of Fish and Game. The City currently has a "Big Fish Program" and stocks the river within the city limits with trophy-sized rainbow trout up to 14 pounds (6.4 kg). These stockings take place during the summer months. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted in the river during the off-season, so fly-fishing is available year-round.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Dunsmuir CA area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Best Welding Trade Program Dunsmuir CA
Picking the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few 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 right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Dunsmuir CA.