Welding is a dependable, solid career field where graduates from school programs tend to have little trouble finding steady work. Such characteristics are highly important these days – with the changing and unpredictable economy, a job that is consistently in demand is a valuable commodity, and seeking out an education in welding in California is an excellent way to enter the field.
Requirements & Eligibility
Welding programs typically require a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible. If you’ve graduated high school already or have your GED, you’ll be able to seek admission into most welding schools in California, helping make the field an attractive one for those looking to avoid the massive and impractical expenses of a four-year (or longer) college education that may or may not even lead to steady work.
Application Process & Costs
The process and cost of applying to a welding program will vary from institution to institution; seek out the admissions department and/or the website of the programs you’re interested to learn more specifics. Generally, though, application to a welding program involves detailing your work history, any qualifications you may have, and your reasons for being interested in the welding program. You can also get in touch with the head of the department of your desired institution – creating a personal relationship with someone already in the system is an excellent way to introduce yourself and get started.
Welding is a hands-on trade and involves many, many hours of practical training and practice, so online programs for the field are limited. Some schools, however, require general education classes for their diplomas – arts and humanities, for instance, like music, writing, and film – and many of these classes have online options. Check with your desired institution to see what’s required for your degree and whether or not you can take non-welding classes online, and you’ll be able to save a large amount of time and money in the process.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
Having a varied resume and up-to-date certifications in a wide array of fields is an excellent way to stay as employable as possible, and California’s welding schools offer many hard to find certification classes. For example, the John Lopez Welding School offers ATC Authorized Training and NCCER training, both of which are very important in the construction field, and the Cal-Trade Welding School of Modesto offers CWI Certified Welder Inspection courses. These, on top of the more typical blueprint reading classes, pipe welding, and onsite welder certification, help California’s welding schools stand out in the field.
Salary & Job Prospects
Welding is one of the backbone jobs of industry, and graduates from welding programs tend to report very little difficulty finding work, especially if they’re willing to relocate. The median salary for a welder in 2012 was $36,300, making this career a very solid one for people looking to start or continue to provide for their families; it also comes with the benefit of a shorter school term and lower tuition costs than many other fields, enabling you to get out there and start working as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for a steady career path and dependable prospects for the future, welding is an excellent choice, and California is an excellent place to learn the trade. Take advantage of the beautiful weather and learn a field that can take you anywhere in the country and provide a steady living, letting you work with your hands and see the results of a day’s work.