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

How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Lake Orion Michigan

Lake Orion MI welding school studentChoosing the right welding trade school near Lake Orion MI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive 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 accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses

Lake Orion MI welder working on pipingThere are several options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Lake Orion MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Options

Lake Orion MI welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Lake Orion MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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 kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Trade School

Lake Orion MI welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Lake Orion MI area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate 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 organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Lake Orion MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships 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 placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Lake Orion MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lake Orion MI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed 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 not sure 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 Lake Orion MI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Lake Orion 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 the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship 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 desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lake Orion MI, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lake Orion MI?

Perhaps you live in the Lake Orion 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.

Lake Orion, Michigan

Lake Orion (/ˈɒriən/ ORR-ee-ən) is a village in the north side outskirts of Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,973 at the 2010 census.[6] "Lake Orion" is often used to describe both the village and the much larger Orion Township,[citation needed] of which the village is a part.

Judah Church and Moses (or Samuel) Munson were among the first settlers. Munson, who arrived in 1824, built a sawmill in 1825, and planted the first orchard. Jesse Decker arrived from upstate New York with his wife, Mary, in 1825. Decker proved to be energetic and became "everything to everybody," so that the place soon became known as "Decker's Settlement," and the town was called "Canandaigua," after Canandaigua, New York, where the settlers originated.[7][8] The settlement grew into a bustling commercial center with a sawmill, tavern, post office, general store, blacksmith shop, school and cemetery.[9] In 1828, a power dam was built uniting several small lakes and forming the mile wide Lake Canandaigua, just west of the village.[citation needed]

In 1830, Jesse Decker raised the first frame barn in the area with the help of local Indians. The first post office was opened in 1832, with Decker as postmaster.[7] In 1835, the community's name was changed from Canandaigua to Orion, and as a result, Lake Canadaigua would be renamed Lake Orion. The same year, the Township of Orion was formally approved by the Michigan Territorial government. Decker became the first Supervisor of Orion, with a salary of $2.00 a year. By 1836, two persons were licensed to keep taverns in the town, one of whom was Decker.[7] Decker was elected to the first Michigan House of Representatives in 1837 and also served as justice of the peace for the Orion area.[9] By 1840 Decker owned 440 acres (1.8 km2) of land.[9]

Online Welding Schools

pipe welder at work in Lake Orion MIWelding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Lake Orion MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done 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 desire 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 environment.

Choose the Best Welding Technical School Lake Orion MI

Picking the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lake Orion MI.

 

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