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

How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Jackson Michigan

Jackson MI welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welder school near Jackson MI is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

Jackson MI welder working on pipingThere are several options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Jackson MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop 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 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Jackson MI welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Jackson MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things 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
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program

Jackson MI welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Jackson MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 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 school you pick is going to provide 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 choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Jackson MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Jackson MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Jackson MI employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Jackson MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Jackson MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might 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 an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jackson MI, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Jackson MI?

Perhaps you live in the Jackson 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.

Jackson, Michigan

Jackson is a city in the south central area of the U.S. state of Michigan, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Ann Arbor and 35 miles (56 km) south of Lansing. It is the county seat of Jackson County.[5] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 33,534, down from 36,316 at the 2000 census. Served by Interstate 94, it is the principal city of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Jackson County and has a population of 160,248.[6]

Founded in 1829, it was named after President Andrew Jackson. By the late 19th century, it had developed as a railroad hub and was known as the crossroads of Michigan. By 1910 it had strong manufacturing of a variety of automobiles and parts and was also a center of corset manufacturing into the 1920s. As an industrial city, it attracted numerous migrants from the American South, both white and black, and European immigrants who were seeking better economic opportunity.

The first state prison was built here. By 1882 it had developed as the largest walled prison in the world, containing both factory facilities and farmland. A new prison was built in 1934 north of the city limits.

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Jackson MIWelding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Jackson MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must 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 perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Choose the Right Welding Vocational School Jackson MI

Picking the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Jackson MI.

 

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