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Helpful Information About Potential Welding Careers & Trucking Jobs

  • Advanced Career Institute trains students for OTR and Local Truck Driving Jobs!

    CDL Related Jobs that aren't Over the Road

    Many people begin pursuing a Commercial Driver’s License with the intent of becoming an over-the-road truck driver. Why not? It’s a common profession that is in high demand. There are plenty of jobs available! However, it’s not the only show in town. There are also non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL. A CDL is a surprisingly versatile document, and while driving is almost always on the docket if you are getting a CDL, driving a big rig is far from the only occupation you can hope to pursue. Indeed, there are many vehicles you can operate and an equal number of potential employers who will look at hiring you if you depending on your level of experience. These jobs can each bring their nuances that offer commercial drivers a surprising level of diversity to their daily work experience.

    Highway Maintenance Technician:

    Highway construction and repair projects often require the use of large vehicles, which means people are needed to drive those vehicles. Everything from dump trucks, skid steers, to concrete mixers and paint trucks are used for highway maintenance, so if you want this job, you’d better put your work boots on. Often a Class B CDL is the minimum requirement for this position.

    Engineering Equipment Operator:

    As an Engineering Equipment Operator, you will operate a variety of heavy machinery including pump trucks and trash compactors and will help prepare the terrain for upcoming construction projects. Depending on where in the country you are working and the geographical structures around you, and the nature of the business that employs you, you can work in any number of environments up to and including bodies of water.

    Construction Equipment Operator:

    Few fields have as diverse a set of big vehicles as the construction industry. Skid steers, dump trucks, knuckle boom loaders, track hoes, loaders, flatbeds, bush hogs, cranes, and steamrollers. You name it, the construction guys use it. All of them require an operator who possesses a CDL.

    Bus Driver:

    Bus driving is a solid alternative to truck driving. Providing stability and flexibility, there are several different types of bus driving jobs, each of which has their own distinct vibe. Whether you choose city bus, school bus, tour bus, or an intercity bus, you have a different clientele and a different work experience.

    Tractor Trailer Technician:

    While not required in most states, having a CDL is a big plus for most tractor-trailer technicians. It stands to reason that it is better to be qualified to drive a vehicle you are working on. Tractor trailer technicians don’t haul loads with their trucks, but they certainly are good at fixing them. Maintaining fleets of trucks is a big job that is usually performed by a team of semi-truck techs, and is a vital part of the trucking industry.

    Terminal Manager:

    Another job that doesn’t require most workers to have a CDL, but it greatly helps is a Terminal Manager. Terminal Managers are the field managers of a trucking company and are responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing transportation solutions. In other words, they manage trucking company workloads.

    Delivery Driver:

    Delivery drivers don’t have the prodigious time on the road that perhaps an over-the-road hauler does, but the two occupations are close cousins. Businesses as diverse as furniture companies and medical equipment suppliers often provide delivery services and often employ workers with commercial driver’s licenses. Interested in one of these non-trucking jobs you can get with a CDL? Advanced Career Institute can help you start your career in trucking. Check out our programs and the opportunities available to you.
  • man welding with his helmet on

    How to Ace Your Welding Interview

    Job interviews are always nerve-racking. There's a lot of pressure to perform your very best and show off your skills so that the interviewer shortlists you for the job. Welding, in particular, requires a very specific set of skills, and you need to come prepared for the job interview to show off these skills. Here are four secrets to acing your welding interview so you can land your dream job:

    Know the Company

    The key to any successful job interview is preparation and research. Learn about the company you are interviewing with by taking a look at their website and reviewing their ratings online. Be able to answer basic questions about what the company does and how welding fits into the company's business.

    Study the Job Description

    Find out specifics about the job, such as what type of welding processes you'll be asked to do, by studying the job posting. Make sure you are not only familiar with these processes but also prepared with stories about how you have used these processes in training or at your current or previous welding jobs. Be prepared to answer questions about your training and experience with specific welding processes. For example, be able to answer questions like "What is turnkey integration?" and "What's the difference between MIG and TIG welding?".

    Rehearse Your Answers

    While you won't know exactly what the interviewer is going to ask, it helps to practice your answers to some basic interview questions, such as "Tell me about yourself" or "How do you deal with working under pressure?". With the first question, you have the opportunity to pitch to the interviewer why you are the best candidate. Emphasize your strengths, work ethic, training, experience, and anything else that might be applicable to the job. The interviewer might ask you other questions about your temperament, working with others, and safety habits. Make sure you have strong answers to all of these questions. In addition, prepare some questions for the interviewer about the company and the job to show your interest and preparation.

    Dress the Part and Bring Your Materials

    Come to the interview dressed for the job. Instead of a suit, wear work gear like a long sleeve shirt, heavy-duty pants, and quality work boots. Since you are likely to be tested in your interview, your clothes should be protective and comfortable to work in. Make sure you bring the necessary materials and equipment to do some welding, such as work gloves, a helmet, grinders, weld treatment, and whatever else is necessary for the specific welding processes. While welding is an in-demand skill, you still need to prepare for the interview to increase your chances of landing your dream job.   What are you waiting for? Advanced Career Institute is ready to help you get started with your welding career. Check out our welding blog posts and contact us today for more information!
  • Image of agriculture farm machinery in a field with blue skies and wind turbines in background

    The Importance of Ag Transportation

    In celebration of National Ag Day on March 20th, let's give a nod of appreciation to the Ag Transporters who do the hard work within the industry. If you are curious about the job and considering joining the ranks, you should definitely ask these three important questions...

    What is Ag Transportation?

    Ag Transportation is the community of men and women who drive the country's farm-fresh food from where it's grown to wherever it needs to go. Advanced Career Institute's training will give you all the skills needed to learn the basics of truck driving. Students will also learn how to transport the important agricultural products grown in California.

    What is the importance of Ag Transportation?

    Truck drivers transport around 500 million tons of grain produced in the US every single year. California's farms and ranches produce over one-third of those vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts for this country. The most efficient system for transporting these fresh and healthy goods are the highways and truck drivers of the state. Goods often need to be transported more than once before they reach their final destination. Those that do these important jobs of ensuring the quality and safe delivery of these products are Ag Transporters.

    What are the benefits of being an Ag Transporter?

    The benefits of being an Ag Transporter are vast. Ag Transporters are the first point of contact for receiving and transporting the agricultural products and livestock vital to the food industry. All you need to qualify is a high school diploma and the CDL Certification we provided with our 20-week Ag Transportation training. It's also important to consider that the current future outlook for work as a truck driver is extremely promising. As a Ag Transporter, you will have several job opportunities with competitive pay and great benefits. Are you interested in joining the Ag Transportation field? Advanced Career Institute can help you get started! Contact us today to learn more about our training options and the opportunities available for you.
  • Women are Making Their Mark in Trucking

    Updated with the most recent information March 2020 In honor of International Women's Day on March 8th, Advanced Career Institute would like to acknowledge the hard work and pioneering spirit of some of the trucking industry's most notable women. These bold and determined ladies paved the way for those to come, transforming the entire industry in the process. Women still only make up around 5% of the trucking workforce, but that number is steadily climbing as more women rise to the challenge and earn their Commercial Driver's License (CDL).

    Trailblazing Women

    Luella Bates (1897-1985) was the pioneer who first showed the world what women could do behind the wheel. During WWII, she stepped into a traditionally male job to fill the vacancies left by the war. Luella was such an excellent truck driver that she stayed on after the war ended, outperforming her male counterparts. Next came Lillie Drennan (1897-1974), with her 10-gallon hat and loaded revolver, she was quite an intimidating figure. She became the first licensed female truck driver, and the first woman to own her own fleet. Lillie was also a staunch advocate for gender and racial equality. She personally hired and trained her diverse and exceptionally safe workforce. Adriesue "Bitsy" Gomez (1943-2015) followed in their footsteps. Bitsy formed the Coalition of Women Truck Drivers to combat the pervasive sexism in trucking culture. Through victories in the courts and successful public relations campaigns, Bitsy helped break-down the barriers that were keeping women out of trucking.

    How Has Trucking Changed for Women

    • Recruiting more women – Trucking companies are making big changes to attract female drivers. Carriers are offering more practice time in truck driving simulators, female driver liaisons, internal support groups, and classes on sexual harassment awareness and self-defense.
    • Support Networks – Organizations such as Women In Trucking and REAL Women in Trucking, Inc provide support, job listings, and the opportunity to connect with other female truck drivers.
    • Female-friendly trucks – Ryder System Inc. has redesigned their cabs to be more ergonomic or women, with adjusted seat height and more accessible placement of handles and gauges.

    Some Challenges for Women in Trucking

    • Safety challenges: Pay extra attention to where you’re stopping and walking at night, whether at truck stops or in remote areas. Don’t roll down your window for anyone other than police or someone you know. Focus on safe driving and your employers will value you for keeping yourself, along with their equipment and loads, safe.
    • Interpersonal issues: Women may face criticism from co-workers or loading dock personnel. Don’t be daunted by bad attitudes. Let respect received equal respect given. Ignore disrespect and laser-focus on the work, and your job at hand–and don’t let others blow your cool.
    • Staying connected to family and friends: Staying in touch is easier with today’s tech. Use Skype or Facetime to have video chats at stops. Send regular text updates (which help with safety concerns, too). Schedule time at home for work/life balance.

    Why Women Should Obtain a CDL

    Thanks to women like Luella, Lillie, and Bitsy, the trucking industry now welcomes female drivers. Young women just entering the workforce, or those who find themselves job-searching after a lifestyle change (such as divorce, empty nest, or job loss), may consider trucking as a possibility. Forward-thinking companies recognize this trend and are doing more to recruit and retain female truckers. Truck manufacturers are redesigning cabs and other equipment to accommodate the typically smaller frames of women, leading to greater comfort and less risk of injury. Women in trucking also have a strong support network, meaning they no longer have to face obstacles and hardships alone. Now is the perfect time for women to take charge and get behind the wheel. It takes a lot of grit and toughness to succeed as a commercial truck driver, but thanks to the bold female drivers of the past, we know women can do it just as well as men can. Are you ready to earn your CDL? Advanced Career Institute is ready to help make that happen!
  • take the first step in beginning your welding career at ACI

    Facts to Know Before You Start Training

    Welding is one of the most intimidating trades at first glance, but once you really delve into the facts, it's worth the effort to learn. If you're thinking of beginning training as a welder, there are few key facts to be aware of before stepping into the classroom.

    Metallurgy: There is Always More to Learn

    Metallurgy is the study of metals and their properties which will be what you primarily learn for welding. Due to the existence of over a hundred metals, there are plenty of different welding procedures and processes to learn. These facts alone make having humility as a welder a necessity. Welding as a whole, is constantly changing. Keeping an open mind and willingness to constantly learn will only benefit you in your welding career.

    Thousands of Job Opportunities

    There are always openings for experienced welders, but the only way to gain experience is typically by obtaining a welding certificate. The reason for this is because each job requires a performance test. Within this test, you must showcase your welding skills and knowledge. Since you need to learn all that you can about welding in order to pass any performance test, you'll need to obtain a certificate in a specific type of welding. With a certificate in hand, jobs across the country and around the world become available. Not to mention, your salary becomes boundless. Having so many opportunities at your fingertips makes going without a job even in a recession next to impossible.

    Don't Be Afraid to Fail

    Failure is a part of learning. No matter what knowledge you seek to obtain, you shouldn't expect to be perfect right at the start. A lot of trial and error is required to master any technique. Since you'll never know everything there is to know about welding, failure is something you'll have to accept. While you may be brilliant while in a welding class, being on the job site is a completely different game. Just remember to be consistent. Let your work speak for itself, and keep in mind, if at first you don't succeed, try again.   While welding isn't an easy career, it doesn't take as long as other options to gain a certificate. If you're interested in gaining the opportunity to travel, make more money, and learn new information, contact Advance Career Institute and let us help you get started on a new career in welding.
  • proper steps for maintaining tires in the winter months

    How to Keep Proper Care of Tires During Winter Months

    In most parts of the country, winter brings with it snow, ice, slush, and sleet. All of which makes for hazardous driving conditions. Unfortunately, life just can't stop everytime mother nature spits out another inch (or more) of snow. So, you'll need a car that can handle the cold and all that comes with it. Your tires are your first line of defense for tackling the coldest of seasons; therefore, you'll want to maintain them to the best of your ability to avoid any dangerous or expensive situations. Here are 5 things you can do to keep your tires from spinning out of control this winter season.
    1. Make sure you have winter tires.

      If you know you'll be hit with ice and snow relentlessly and frequently, you'll be better off with tires made specifically for these conditions. These tires are equipped with tread patterns and rubber compounds that make them better suited for snowy conditions. They also make a good investment because solid winter tires should be able to serve you for several years. There is also a reduced risk of an accident, which will potentially save you hundreds of dollars in repairs.
    2. Check and maintain tire pressure.

      Did you know tires can actually lose pressure when temperatures begin to drop? For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, tires lose about 1 pound per square inch (or psi) of air pressure. For example, a tire at 32 psi in 70-degree weather will go down to 28 psi at 30 degrees. Deflated tires reduce fuel mileage, can wear your tires out, offer less traction, and can lead to irreversible damage. Most gas stations have air stations, and you can buy a gauge anywhere they sell vehicle parts. When in doubt, seek an expert.
    3. Check your tread depth for optimal performance. 

      Aside from pressure, you must also make sure your tread depth is adequate, especially for the winter. Usually, when your tires reach 2/32" (4/32" for steer tires), the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends (and some states legally require) you change your tires. But, in the winter, you may want to change them when you hit 5/32". Tires with more tread depth give you more traction and help reduce your chances of hydroplaning. You can measure your tread depth with the penny method, but make sure to use a quarter for winter conditions.
    4. Watch how you drive. 

      Your tires can only do so much to prevent sliding and hydroplaning; you have to do the rest. Leave a good distance between you and the car in front of you to give yourself good reaction. When in slick conditions, accelerate, brake, and steer as though you had a cup of hot coffee on the dashboard. Driving this way can help you against losing control of your vehicle when dealing with ice and snow.
    5. Get your tires checked by a mechanic you trust. 

      If you want to have extra confidence in your tires, ask your mechanic to take a look at them. He can check their pressure, tread depth, traction, etc. For a simple check, they usually shouldn't charge you anything, but if you don't have someone you trust, get a second and/or third opinion before you shell out hundreds of dollars on tires. Better safe than sorry.
    Looking to learn more about automotive care and/or a career in trucking? Advanced Career Institute would love to help. We are proud to serve California’s Central San Joaquin Valley. Check out our programs page to learn about our offerings!
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