How to Pick the Right Welding Technical School near Citrus Heights California
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Citrus Heights CA is an essential first step to beginning 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welder trade 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 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 a number of options available to receive 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Citrus Heights CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Citrus Heights CA employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Schools
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Citrus Heights CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Citrus Heights CA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Citrus Heights CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Citrus Heights CA employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed 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 unsure 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 Citrus Heights CA welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Citrus Heights CA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask 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, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Citrus Heights CA, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Citrus Heights CA area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 more appropriate 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 very careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Citrus Heights CA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Citrus Heights California area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Citrus Heights, California
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), all land. The city incorporated January 2, 1997 (January 1 according to the official city website), becoming the fifth city in Sacramento County.
Citrus Heights has a climate that is characterized by mild winters and dry hotter summers. The area usually has a low humidity and the average temperature throughout the year is 68 Fahrenheit, with the daily average ranging from 45° in December and January to 76° in July. Average daily high temperatures range from 53° in December and January to 93° in July. Average daily low temperatures range from 38° to 58°. The average year has 73 days with a high over 90°, with the highest temperature on record being 114° on July 17, 1925, and 18 days when the low drops below 32°, with the coldest one day record being December 11, 1932, at 17°.
Average yearly precipitation is 24.61 inches according to weather.com (, 2018). Almost no rain falls during the summer months (less than 1%), and over 80% falls between November and March. 3.47", 3.39", 4.46", and 4.34" per month respectively, though rainfall can be much greater than average. On average, 96 days in the year have fog, mostly in the morning, primarily in December and January. Typically, Citrus Heights enjoys 268 sunny days throughout the year.
Choose the Best Welding Technical Program Citrus Heights CA
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn To Weld Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably 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 attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Citrus Heights CA.
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