How to Find the Right Welder Certification Program near Lemoore California
Selecting the right welder trade school near Lemoore 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welder 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Lemoore CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lemoore CA employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you select readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Lemoore CA area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Lemoore CA for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Lemoore CA welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lemoore CA contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lemoore CA welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Lemoore CA home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Lemoore CA, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lemoore CA area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Lemoore CA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Lemoore California area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Lemoore (formerly, La Tache and Lee Moore's) is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Lemoore is located 7.5 miles (12 km) west-southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 230 feet (70 m). It is part of the Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260). The population was 24,531 at the 2010 Census. The California Department of Finance estimated that Lemoore's population was 25,892 on January 1, 2018.
The maps published by Thos. H. Thompson in 1892, shows three high water levels of the giant Tulare Lake in different years. The highest lake level, the one Thompson labeled "original lake line" skirts or touches the 1892 town of Lemoore's south-west corner at the current intersection of State Route 41 and State Route 198. On Thompson's map, Lemoore is on the east bank, and about five miles away Lemoore Naval Air Station would have been on the west bank of the pointy northern tip of Tulare Lake at its maximum size. At the extreme northern point of Tulare Lake was its natural, occasional "flood year" spillway northbound into Bogg Slough, Fresno Slough, and the San Joaquin River's watershed, onward to the sea at San Francisco Bay. The present (2014) remaining marshy remnants of Bogg Slough, with its unfarmed oxbow structures may be the last of their kind to avoid the plow in the Kings-San Joaquin river system. This "summit," or spillway is located just a few miles north-west of Lemoore, off Grangeville Blvd at elevation 210 feet (64 m). The spillway was wide, shallow and confusing, choked with tall tule rushes, and without observable landmarks. Only one commercial boat is known to have sailed from Tulare Lake to the San Francisco delta. Tulare Lake had huge economic importance in the region, both for the very large population of Indians, and the white pioneers. The lake supported a large commercial fishery feeding San Francisco, and a steam powered ferry servicing several towns and settlements. The receding lake continually opened up new agricultural lands for settlement. Because of its source streams being diverted, the last time the lake overflowed was 1878, and today it no longer exists.
Because the natural summit or border between the Kings River basin and the San Joaquin River's watershed, and the Kings River itself nearly intersect near Lemoore, a number of huge water works that control regional water flow are also located nearby. For example, in flood years the Kings River is diverted west into the so-called "North Fork Kings River," to Crescent Weir and related major levees eastward to the north-flowing Fresno Slough and to the sea, preventing a resurgence ("flooding") of Tulare Lake to the south. This "switch point" is located just north of Lemoore right off of Highway 41 and Elgin Ave at the New Island Weirs. In many cases the prehistoric Kings River bed has been obliterated and new channels have been constructed. However, as of 2014, in satellite images (such as Google maps, etc.) the remains of many of the old channels can still be detected.
Pick the Best Welding Technical Program Lemoore CA
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Certificate Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lemoore CA.