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

How to Choose a Welding Technical School near Jenison Michigan

Jenison MI welding school studentLocating the ideal welding trade school near Jenison MI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training

Jenison MI welder working on pipingThere are a number of options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Jenison MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should ready 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 Options

Jenison MI welder working on poleThere are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Jenison MI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some 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 certain types of welds
  • Operate according to contract specifications

As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welder Tech Program

Jenison MI welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Jenison MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain 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. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Jenison MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Jenison MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Jenison MI employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure 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 Jenison MI welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Jenison MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides 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 an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. 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 see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Jenison MI, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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, illness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Jenison MI?

Perhaps you live in the Jenison 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.

Jenison, Michigan

Jenison is an unincorporated community in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a census-designated place (CDP) for statistical purposes, but has no legal status as an incorporated municipality. The community is governed by Georgetown Charter Township. The population of the CDP was 17,211 as of the 2000 census. The current estimated population for the entire Jenison ZIP code, 49428, is 25,770. The geographical boundaries of the ZIP code are larger than that of the CDP.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15 km2), of which 5.8 square miles (15 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.85%) is water.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 17,211 people, 5,975 households, and 4,863 families residing in the community. The population density was 2,940.8 per square mile (1,135.9/km²). There were 6,065 housing units at an average density of 1,036.3 per square mile (400.3/km²). The racial makeup of the community was 98.84% White, 0.49% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.85% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population.

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Jenison MIWelding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Jenison MI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Best Welding Trade Program Jenison MI

Choosing the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect 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 end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Jenison MI.

 

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