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

How to Pick a Welding Training Program near Imlay City Michigan

Imlay City MI welding school studentSelecting the ideal welder school near Imlay City MI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Courses

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

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually 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.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Imlay City MI welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Imlay City MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain types of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welder Tech Program

Imlay City MI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Imlay City MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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 single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Imlay City MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Imlay City MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Imlay City MI contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Imlay City MI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Imlay City MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient 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 convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Imlay City MI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Imlay City MI?

Perhaps you live in the Imlay City 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.

Imlay City, Michigan

Imlay City was founded on April 1, 1850 by Charles Palmer, the chief engineer of the Port Huron and Lake Michigan Railroad, who bought 240 acres of land along the railroad's route at a location Palmer anticipated would be a likely produce center between the towns of Capac and Lapeer.[6] Palmer named the city for the Connecticut-based capitalist William H. Imlay, who had invested heavily in the region after moving there in 1828.[6] Within a year and a half, the newly established city had attracted 500 residents with over 120 buildings including two hotels, 20 stores, a sawmill, and a school.[7]

In 1914, the town started building streetcar lines—a form of public transportation that was usually reserved for large cities. In April 1970, Imlay City celebrated its 100th birthday, and the residents voted to changed Imlay City from a village to a home rule city by a two to one margin.[6] The construction of Interstate 69 in the 1980s connected Imlay City with Flint, Port Huron, and Canada, leading to significant economic growth to serve the interstate travelers.

Imlay City has five public schools, which are all part of Imlay City Community Schools, and one private school. The public schools include Weston Elementary for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, Borland Elementary for 3rd through 5th grade, Imlay City Middle School for 6th grade through 8th grade, and Imlay City High School for 9th through 12th grade. There is also Venture High School, an alternative school for students who do not succeed at the traditional high school. The private school in Imlay City is the Imlay City Christian School, which is a non-denominational, private Christian school located just outside town; it was established in 1952 by parents of the local area.

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Imlay City MIWelding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Imlay City MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Right Welding Trade School Imlay City MI

Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Imlay City MI.

 

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