How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Lewiston Michigan
Finding the right welder trade school near Lewiston MI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Lewiston MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate 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 don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Lewiston MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welder Technical School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Lewiston MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many 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 looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Lewiston MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing 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 assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Lewiston MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Lewiston MI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Lewiston MI welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Lewiston MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the teachers 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 present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lewiston MI, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lewiston MI?
Perhaps you live in the Lewiston 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.
Lewiston is an unincorporated community in Montmorency County, Michigan, United States. It is a census-designated place (CDP) used for statistical purposes. The population was 1392 at the 2010 census.
Lewiston was formally established in 1892. The Lewiston post office first opened on April 25, 1892. The Lewiston Area Historical Society Museum is in an 1892 original Lewiston home. It was first owned by David Kneeland, who was the manager of the Michelson & Hanson Lumber Company; his family lived in Lewiston from 1892 - 1910. When the mill closed, David Kneeland sold the dwelling to George and Martha Sachs, who then expanded some of the town's boundaries, defining what they are today. Lewiston is also known as Timber Town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 5.3 square miles (14 km2) of it is land and 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2) of it (38.39%) is water.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Lewiston MI area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment 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 discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Lewiston MI
Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lewiston MI.
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