Those of us who call California know that it can be an appealing place to live. The state can also be a fairly expensive place to live with high rent and utilities costs. Because of this and other factors, getting a good job is of the utmost importance if you with to stay in the state. One career that offers a high paying salary would be welding. In many parts of California, welding jobs are in high demand. The need for a competent welding professional is even high in the Sacramento area and often offers a starting salary of $50,000 or more. If this path seems appealing to you, here is some more information about how to get started:
A high school diploma or G.E.D would be the first place to start. Some of the larger high schools will offer welding classes for students who are interested in the trade, and this type of early training can be a good way for a potential employee to differentiate himself from the competition. Beyond high school, training for this vocation is available from community colleges, trade schools and private welding schools. Sometimes a good first step for the prospective welder would be to join the Armed Forces because they can often provide a degree of on-the-job training and experience for this type of career. Training for this job can generally run from a few short course over a few months to several years. The length of training depends on the type of job where the welding activity will be done. Obviously a Journeyman Pipe Welder will take longer to be trained than just a general candidate. Many employers will require a certification in either inspection through the American Welding Society or precision soldering from the IPC Association Connecting Electronics Industries.
List of Welding Programs in Sacramento, CA
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- Automotive Technician (11-Month Diploma Program)
- HVAC Technician (11-month diploma program)
Application Process & Costs
The application process is fairly simple for most schools. First of all, you will simply need to apply to the school and go through the steps to become a student at their institution. After graduation, many people will apply to the city of Sacramento to begin their career. Usually a city job will require a battery of tests before they will hire you, generally with total fees of several hundred dollars or more. The Certified Welder (CW) program is simply a performance-based test where you will be tested on procedures in the structural steel, pipeline, sheet metal and chemical refinery welding industries. Usually it is strictly a pass/fail test; as long as you are able to complete the job in the allotted time you will pass.
This type of trade is a very technical, hands-on type of program. Thus, finding online programs can be somewhat of a challenge. Some opportunities to take online classes exist that will count toward an undergraduate degree. These classes will usually touch on the skills of examining blueprints and other types of skills unrelated to practice. The American Welding Society also offers WeldAcademy Connect, which is an online training program that helps students prepare for the fundamentals portion of the Certified Welding Inspector test.
Maintaining Certification/License & Renewal
A certified welder will take to reinstate their certification every six months. Generally the process is not difficult and can usually be done right over the phone or online.
Salary & Job Prospects
The salary and the job prospects vary widely. For a junior welder, the starting salary is generally $19 per hour. Most employers will want experience and this has a tendency to shrink the job prospects. However, since welding is a specialized skill there are always jobs available within the Sacramento area.