How to Select the Right Welder Degree Program near Malibu California
Finding the ideal welder school near Malibu CA is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options to get 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Malibu CA.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Malibu CA employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for various kinds 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 local area and make sure that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Malibu CA area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick 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 ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Malibu CA for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Malibu CA welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Malibu CA contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. 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 Malibu CA welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Malibu CA home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Malibu CA, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not very 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 Malibu CA area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until 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 better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Malibu CA?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Malibu California area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Malibu (/ˈmælɪbuː/) (Spanish: Malibú) is a beach city in western Los Angeles County, California, situated about 30 miles (48 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles. Known for its Mediterranean climate, a 21-mile (34 km) strip of the Malibu coast incorporated in 1991 into the City of Malibu. The area is known for being the home of Hollywood movie stars, people in the entertainment industry, and other affluent residents. Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1), which traverses the city, with some residents living up to a mile away from the beach up narrow canyons. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,645.
Nicknamed "the 'Bu" by surfers and locals, beaches along the Malibu coast include Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu Beach, Topanga Beach, Point Dume Beach, County Line, and Dan Blocker Beach. State parks and beaches on the Malibu coast include Malibu Creek State Park, Leo Carrillo State Beach and Park,Point Mugu State Park, and Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, with individual beaches: El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador. The many parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area lie along the ridges above the city along with local parks that include Malibu Bluffs Park (formerly Malibu Bluffs State Park), Trancas Canyon Park, Las Flores Creek Park, and Legacy Park.
Signs around the city proclaim "21 miles of scenic beauty", referring to the incorporated city limits. The city updated the signs in 2017 from the historical 27-mile (43 km) length of the Malibu coast spanning from Tuna Canyon on the southeast to Point Mugu in Ventura County on the northwest. For many residents of the unincorporated canyon areas, Malibu has the closest commercial centers and they are included in the Malibu ZIP Codes. The city is bounded by Topanga on the east, the Santa Monica Mountains (Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and Woodland Hills) to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Solromar in Ventura County to the west.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Malibu CA
Choosing the right welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Lessons. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Malibu CA.
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