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

How to Enroll In a Welder Certificate Program near Leland Michigan

Leland MI welding school studentLocating the right welder school near Leland MI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

Leland MI welder working on pipingThere are a number of 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Leland MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Leland MI welder working on poleThere are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Leland MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Operate according to contract specifications

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Vocational School

Leland MI welder working on carAfter you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Leland MI area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Leland MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Leland MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Leland MI employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Leland MI welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Leland MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few 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 have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see 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 Leland MI, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Leland MI?

Perhaps you live in the Leland 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.

Leland, Michigan

Leland is an unincorporated community in the U.S. state of Michigan. It was the county seat of Leelanau County[1] from 1883 to 2008, when a new government center was completed in Suttons Bay Township, closer to the county's geographic center.

Leland is the departure point for ferry service to both North and South Manitou Islands. The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby and Traverse City is about 25 miles to the southeast. Leaving Leland, going south on M-22, there is a sign that reads "45th Parallel Halfway Between Equator & North Pole."

Leland is built on the site of one of the oldest and largest Ottawa villages on the Leelanau Peninsula. Where the Leland (Carp) River flows into Lake Michigan, there was a natural fish ladder (which was a traditional Native American fishing grounds). The settlement was called Mishi-me-go-bing, meaning "the place where canoes run up into the river to land, because they have no harbor" or alternatively Che-ma-go-bing or Chi-mak-a-ping.

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Leland MIWelding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Leland MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Find the Right Welding Trade School Leland MI

Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Leland MI.

 

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