How to Choose a Welding Certification Course near Kings Canyon National Pk California
Enrolling in the right welding trade school near Kings Canyon National Pk CA is an essential first step to launching your new occupation 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welding vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Kings Canyon National Pk CA.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Kings Canyon National Pk CA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate 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 tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Technical School
After you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Kings Canyon National Pk CA area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should 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 below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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 obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Kings Canyon National Pk CA for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place 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 develop associations within the Kings Canyon National Pk CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Kings Canyon National Pk CA contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three 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 trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Kings Canyon National Pk CA welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Kings Canyon National Pk CA home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Kings Canyon National Pk CA, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. 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 if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Kings Canyon National Pk CA?
Perhaps you live in the Kings Canyon National Pk 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.
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is an American national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, in Fresno and Tulare Counties, California. Originally established in 1890 as General Grant National Park, the park was greatly expanded and renamed to Kings Canyon National Park on March 4, 1940. The park's namesake, Kings Canyon, is a rugged glacier-carved valley more than a mile (1,600 m) deep. Other natural features include multiple 14,000-foot (4,300 m) peaks, high mountain meadows, swift-flowing rivers, and some of the world's largest stands of giant sequoia trees. Kings Canyon is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park, and the two are jointly administered by the National Park Service as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The majority of the 461,901-acre (186,925 ha) park, drained by the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and many smaller streams, is designated wilderness. Tourist facilities are concentrated in two areas: Grant Grove, home to General Grant (the second largest tree in the world, measured by trunk volume) and Cedar Grove/Kanawyers, located in the heart of Kings Canyon. Overnight hiking is required to access most of the park's backcountry, or high country, which for much of the year is covered in deep snow. The combined Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail, a popular backpacking route, traverses the entire length of the park from north to south.
General Grant National Park was initially created to protect a small area of giant sequoias from logging. Although John Muir's visits brought public attention to the huge wilderness area to the east, it took more than fifty years for the rest of Kings Canyon to be designated a national park. Environmental groups, park visitors and many local politicians wanted to see the area preserved; however, development interests wanted to build hydroelectric dams in the canyon. Even after President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the park in 1940, the fight continued until 1965, when the Cedar Grove and Tehipite Valley dam sites were finally annexed into the park.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Kings Canyon National Pk CA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Best Welding Tech School Kings Canyon National Pk CA
Picking the best welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Kings Canyon National Pk CA.