Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Howell MI

How to Choose a Welding Training Program near Howell Michigan

Howell MI welding school studentSelecting the ideal welder school near Howell MI is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training

Howell MI welder working on pipingThere are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Howell MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a 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 experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Howell MI welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Howell MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding technical school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational School

Howell MI welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Howell MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before selecting a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Howell MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Howell MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Howell MI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Howell MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Howell MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Howell MI, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Howell MI?

Perhaps you live in the Howell Michigan area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there.  In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.

Howell, Michigan

Howell is a city in the Metro Detroit region of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 9,489. It is the county seat of Livingston County[6] and is located mostly within Howell Township, but is politically independent from Howell Township. The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area.

January 1836 saw the establishment of the first post office. Flavius J. B. Crane was postmaster and the post office was located in the Eagle Tavern. In March of this same year, there was a mail route started between Howell and the village of Kensington, and west to Grand Rapids. The City of Howell is the county seat of Livingston County. On 24 March 1836, the legislature passed an act organizing Livingston County and Howell was slated to become the county seat. This claim was vigorously opposed by a group from Brighton and was wholly relinquished by them until the county buildings were actually erected 12 years later. Howell at once assumed the dignity of the County seat. The town was originally called Livingston Center and incorporated on 14 March 1863.

Howell's population increased dramatically during the 1970s due to white flight from Detroit and Lansing, changing its character from that of a farming community to an exhurb of bigger cities. This period of Howell's history also marked the birth of its well-known reputation of white supremacy, as Robert Miles, leader in the Michigan KKK, resided in nearby Cohoctah Township and hosted Klan events on his property. Although Miles died in 1992, the KKK rallied in downtown Howell in 1995 and the reputation persists in Detroit that Howell is the "KKK capital of Michigan."

Online Welder Classes

pipe welder at work in Howell MIWelding is very much a manual kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Howell MI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Best Welding Technical School Howell MI

Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ 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. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Howell MI.

 

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