How to Enroll In the Right Welding Certification Course near Washington Michigan
Locating the right welding trade school near Washington MI is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Washington MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Washington MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
Once you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Washington MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Washington MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Washington MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Washington MI contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure 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 Washington MI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Washington MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington MI, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Washington MI area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Washington MI?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Washington Michigan area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Washington Township, Macomb County, Michigan
Washington Charter Township, located in the outskirts of metro Detroit, is a charter township of Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 25,139 at the 2010 census. The suburb of Washington Township is bordered by the village of Romeo as well as Ray Township, Shelby Township, and Oakland Township and is 18 miles north of Detroit. The historic Octagon House and Stony Creek Metro Park are popular destinations for visitors.
The Township has a Supervisor-Board style township government with elected supervisor, clerk, treasurer and four trustees. School district serving the Township residents are Romeo Community Schools and Utica Community Schools and Rochester Schools from Oakland County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 36.8 square miles (95.3 km²), of which 36.0 square miles (93.1 km²) is land and 0.9 square mile (2.2 km²) (2.34%) is water.
Choose the Best Welding Tech Program Washington MI
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welder School. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Washington MI.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 8