How to Find the Right Welding Certificate Program near Lansing Michigan
Selecting the right welder vocational school near Lansing MI is an essential first step to starting your new career 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding trade 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Lansing MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Lansing MI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just 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 specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Vocational Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Lansing MI area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds 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 instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lansing MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma 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 looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should 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 associations within the Lansing 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 welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Lansing MI employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with 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 Lansing MI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Lansing MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lansing MI, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lansing MI?
Perhaps you live in the Lansing 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.
Lansing /ˈlænsɪŋ/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.
The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.
Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The seat of government of Ingham County is Mason, but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.
Online Welder Training
Welding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Lansing MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. 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 setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Right Welding Technical School Lansing MI
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Lansing MI.
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