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Valerie Brown at work Women in Trades Women in Industry and Technology
Welding CalWomenTech FAQs

Career FAQs

Academic FAQs
Childcare FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs
Career FAQs

Occupational outlook. Are employers hiring for jobs in this area?
Yes! In fact, our Welding instructors go out 2-4 times a month and make industry contacts in the Los Angeles area. Companies that hire graduates of the Welding program include: Robinson Helicopter, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Tanko, as well as petro-chemical, elevator and aerospace companies.

Technology background. Can I pursue a career in this field without a background in technology?
While it is not necessary to have a background in technology to enter the Welding
program at El Camino College, you should know basic computer skills as the
program prepares you to do some Computer Aided Design (CAD) and
measurements on a computer. Math skills, up to algebra and some trigonometry
are also helpful, but you can brush up on your math skills when you enroll in the
program if necessary. El Camino has many resources for women entering this field
through its Women in Industry and Technology (WIT) program.

Accessibility for women. Isnít Welding a tough field for women to break into?
No! Women are more than capable of contributing to the welding industry and old-fashioned stereotypes are on their way out! There is nothing about welding that excludes women from participation. In fact, Welding instructor, George Rodriguez, points out that many of his female students have better hand-eye coordination and attention to detail (two very important skills to have in welding) than their male counterparts. Find out more about why welding could be a great career for you through El Camino Collegeís Women in Industry and Technology program. You can also explore this website for success stories of women in the field, e-mentoring, and other opportunities to network with women in trades and technology fields.

Receptivity to hiring women. Will employers hire women into male-dominated technology areas?
Absolutely! We know of many employers who have hired women as welders. Although women may have not been well represented in these fields in the past, this is changing. There is a wide range of industries that hire welders, from aerospace to petro-chemical to machinery like elevators. Visit E-Jobs to locate companies specifically looking to hire women.

The Business Training Center at El Camino College also works directly with employers to help them identify and hire qualified students applicants through its Career Readiness Certificate program.

Jobs available. What kinds of jobs can I get with a certificate and with an A.S. degree?
The certificates and A.S. degree in Welding qualifies graduates for work as welding instructors (with work experience), manufacturing technicians, structural engineers, pipe welders, metal fabricators, sheet metal workers, structural welders, apprentice welders, arc welders, instructors, gas welders, ironworkers, pipe fitters, welding technicians, resistance welders, welding inspectors, welding contractors, welding engineers, aluminum welders, and more!

Salaries. What kind of salary can I expect?
Welding apprentices start at an average of $14 per hour, with a $4 raise every 6 months until they complete their apprenticeship (usually, about 4 years). Welders start their salary at about $35 per hour, although depending on the industry, they can earn up to $55 per hour. The average salary for graduates in the Torrance area is $19.75 per hour for certified welders, which is approximately 9.8% above the national average of $18.06 per hour. Certified welders with at least two years of experience are averaging $27.36 per hour.

More information. Where can I learn more about technology careers and what they're like for women?
El Camino College offers the Women in Industry and Technology (WIT) program to help you learn about employment in this field from a hands-on perspective. When you enroll in the program and sign up for the WIT program, youíll receive notices about industry tours, field trips, guest speakers, support groups for women, internships, and more.

You can also visit the CalWomenTech Welding Program page for an overview of both the Welding career and the programs offered by El Camino College. Read Womenís Success Stories and news about women in this field at Role Models in the News. Or, network with other women in the field at a Women in Welding Association meeting.

Academic FAQs

Math skills. How much math do I really need?
Although basic math skills like those used in measurement are advised for students entering the Welding program, students that are not proficient in math will be assigned to self-paced programs to improve their skills. If youíd like to brush up on your math, you can enroll in Mathematics 351 (Arithmetic Review and Pre-Algebra Mathematics) as well as Mathematics 180 (Mathematics Tutorial Learning Center). Read more about these courses in the math section of the course catalog.

You may also be able to use software from the CalWomenTech Learning Library that helps you develop spatial reasoning skills (the ability to see things in three dimensions), boost your math and problem solving skills, and more.

Technology skills. How can I prepare for the program if I don't have a background in technology?
You donít need a background in technology to succeed in the Welding program. However, it does help to have basic computer skills and math (up to algebra and trigonometry) when you begin the Welding program, as computers are used for drawing and drafting blueprints in the more advanced classes. Studies show that improving spatial reasoning skills can help women increase their academic achievement. If you donít have a background in technology, you may want to visit the CalWomenTech Learning Library at El Camino College and check out resources such as software that helps you develop spatial reasoning skills and books that help you learn how to read blueprints.

Keep in mind that once youíre in the program, youíll have plenty of chances to try out your new technology skills. All of our courses include hands-on laboratory instruction, and Welding 95, our Cooperative Work Experience course provides opportunities for supervised job experience.

Courses required. How can I find out what courses I need to take for the Welding program?
To find out what courses youíll take in the Welding program, consult the course catalog and visit the programís website.

Placement tests. Are placement tests required for this program?
When you first enter the Welding program, you will be tested on your level of math. Donít worry if you are unprepared! Our welding instructors will speak with tutors and other instructors to find you the help that you need to succeed at El Camino College!

Length of program. How long will it take to complete the Welding program?
To obtain an A.S. degree will take 2 semesters or about 6 months. To complete a Certificate of Competence or the Certificate of Completion will take 3 semesters, between 1 and 2 years. The length of time to complete the program depends on whether or not you are also working and how many classes you take each semester.

Day and evening classes are available, depending on your schedule. Visit the Welding program website for more information.

High school preparation. Can I prepare myself for a technology program at El Camino College while I'm still in high school?
Yes you can! The best way to prepare yourself for a career in Welding Technology is to study math courses through algebra, and preferably including trigonometry. Developing comfort and skill on a computer will also help.

Weight-lifting requirements. How can I prepare myself physically to meet the weight-lifting requirements for a job in Welding?
Depending on the area of welding that you enter, it is important to stay physically
fit to meet the demands of the field. Most welding and carpentry unions will teach
you the proper techniques to get in shape for your field, as well as test you on your
physical fitness. To prepare yourself physically to work as a welder, maintain
normal muscular strength and mobility through regular, moderate exercise. Female
students in particular may want to focus on increasing their upper body strength
via a gym or the schools’ Physical Education courses to increase their ease and safety in lifting.

Childcare FAQs

Child care. Where can I get child care assistance for when I'm at school or work?
The Women in Industry and Technology (WIT) Program provides child care services on a first-come, first-serve basis to its women members who are enrolled in the Electronics and Computer Hardware program. Students can download an application for the WIT program from the WIT website.

Requirements: the child must be potty trained and not be older than five years of age. The child care is provided by the Child Development Center located on campus. The WIT student must have declared her major in the Electronics and Computer Hardware program (or another of the 13 non-traditional careers programs offered through the WIT Program) and needs to be enrolled in at least six units related to her major.

Women in Industry and Technology Program
Technical Arts Building, Room 104B
16007 Crenshaw Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90506
WIT at elcamino.edu

El Camino College also provides child care assistance for students who meet the requirements for programs such as Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE). Fee-based child care services may also be available.

Financial Aid FAQs

Finances. How can I get financial aid?
El Camino College provides support for and information about financial aid, Federal work study programs, and scholarships. You'll also find support programs such as CalWorks, Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS), and Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education (CARE). Just file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine what kind of aid you qualify for.

You'll find step-by-step instructions at the Financial Aid and Scholarships page.


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