How to Enroll In a Welder Technical School near Kent City Michigan
Finding the ideal welding school near Kent 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 determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Kent City MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Kent City MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Technical School
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Kent City MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Kent City MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Kent City MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Kent City MI employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Kent City MI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Kent City MI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely 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 essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual 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 experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Kent City MI, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm 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 due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Kent City MI?
Perhaps you live in the Kent 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.
Kent City, Michigan
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,057 people, 373 households, and 268 families residing in the village. The population density was 800.8 inhabitants per square mile (309.2/km2). There were 407 housing units at an average density of 308.3 per square mile (119.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 88.8% White, 0.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 7.7% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.8% of the population.
There were 373 households of which 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.2% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.33.
The median age in the village was 30.6 years. 30.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 22.8% were from 45 to 64; and 7.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 48.2% male and 51.8% female.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Kent City MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Best Welding Trade School Kent City MI
Picking the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Kent City MI.
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