How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Greenville California
Selecting the right welder technical school near Greenville CA is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Greenville CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Greenville CA employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Trade Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Greenville CA area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Greenville CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Greenville CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Greenville CA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over 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 comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Greenville CA welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Greenville CA home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe 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 ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Greenville CA, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Greenville CA?
Perhaps you live in the Greenville 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.
Greenville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Plumas County, California, United States, on the north-west side of Indian Valley. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.0 square miles (21 km2), all of it land. The population was 1,129 at the 2010 census, down from 1,160 at the 2000 census.
The Maidu people had been living in valley area around present-day Greenville for centuries when Anglo settlers arrived in the 1850's. Among the earliest structures built in the town was a boarding house operated by Mr. and Mrs. Green. The town was named for Green, who was killed in the collapse of the first Round Valley Dam. When Henry C. Bidwell arrived in 1862 and opened a trading post, several business owners moved down from Round Valley to Greenville.
This region experiences hot and dry summers with temps as high as 104°Fand cold sometimes wet winters as cold as 0 °F °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Greenville has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Greenville CA area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Select the Right Welding Vocational Program Greenville CA
Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Greenville CA.