How to Choose a Welding Trade School near Leslie Michigan
Locating the right welder school near Leslie 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 narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder vocational 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 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 Degree and Certificate Training
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Leslie MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 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 certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Leslie MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills 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
- Operate based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Trade School
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Leslie MI area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide 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 choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Leslie 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.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction 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 looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Leslie MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Leslie MI contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Leslie MI welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Leslie MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Leslie MI, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Leslie MI?
Perhaps you live in the Leslie 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.
The city of Leslie lies just east of US 127 in Ingham County on gently rolling hills. The city is located 28 miles (45 km) directly south of Lansing, and 17 miles (27 km) directly north of Jackson.
Leslie was first settled by Elijah Woodworth in 1836, who built the first log cabin in the city. It was originally named Meekerville after a pioneer to the area, Benjamin Meeker. Jerry G. Cornell named the town after a prominent Leslie family in eastern New York, his home state. The name Leslie was adopted officially when a post office was assigned to the area in 1841. Leslie was later incorporated as a village in 1869, and as a city nearly 100 years later in 1968.
The Leslie Public School District is a small, rural district that educates nearly 1,400 students. The new Leslie High School was built in 1996 at 4141 Hull Road, and upgraded the middle school into the old high school building. The old middle school on Woodworth street (which was once a high school) was about 100 years old, and is now abandoned. The school district's mascot is the Leslie Blackhawk and the school colors are orange and black. Leslie's one public school has an average graduating class of between 100 and 130 students.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Leslie MI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Technical School Leslie MI
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Leslie MI.
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