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

How to Pick a Welder Certification Program near Lexington Michigan

Lexington MI welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding technical school near Lexington MI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Lexington MI welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Lexington MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. 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 specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Options

Lexington MI welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Lexington MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific types of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As previously stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program

Lexington MI welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Lexington MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Lexington MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer 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 develop associations within the Lexington MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lexington MI contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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 unsure 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 Lexington MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Lexington MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides 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 offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lexington MI, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, 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, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Lexington MI?

Perhaps you live in the Lexington 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.

Lexington, Michigan

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,178 people, 599 households, and 331 families residing in the village. The population density was 841.4 inhabitants per square mile (324.9/km2). There were 1,114 housing units at an average density of 795.7 per square mile (307.2/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 97.3% White, 0.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 599 households of which 17.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.7% were non-families. 40.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.95 and the average family size was 2.57.

The median age in the village was 55.2 years. 15.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 14.8% were from 25 to 44; 30.8% were from 45 to 64; and 33% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 46.3% male and 53.7% female.

Online Welder Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Lexington MIWelding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Lexington MI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Right Welding Tech School Lexington MI

Choosing the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lexington MI.

 

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