How to Find the Right Welder Training Class near Madison Heights Michigan
Finding the ideal welder trade school near Madison Heights MI is an important first step to starting 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Madison Heights MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, 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 complete 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Madison Heights MI employers not only require 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 on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 according to contract specifications
As already stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Madison Heights MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many 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 must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick 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 ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Madison Heights MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Madison Heights MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Madison Heights MI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Madison Heights MI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Madison Heights MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison Heights MI, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Madison Heights MI?
Perhaps you live in the Madison Heights 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.
Madison Heights, Michigan
Originally part of Royal Oak Township, Madison Heights incorporated as a city by popular vote on January 17, 1955, and chartered on December 6 that same year, becoming the tenth city government in southern Oakland County. At that time, the 7.2 square miles (18.6 km2) city was one of the largest suburban communities in the Metro Detroit area. The first city hall was located at 26305 John R Road, the former township offices. On April 5, 1963, a new municipal building was dedicated which is on the present location at 300 West Thirteen Mile Road. The city lies in the Interstate 696 (I-696) and I-75 corridor and is served by two primary school districts, Lamphere and Madison, as well as a full-service municipal government. The current mayor of Madison Heights is Brian Hartwell.
Although 91% of the buildings in Madison Heights are single-family homes or condominiums (approximately 9,800 residential property owners), 60% of the tax base is fueled by light industrial or commercial property. Madison Heights was named a "High Tech Hot Spot" by a local magazine. The city's average number of fires per 1,000 people is 4.12, well below the national average of 6.7 fires per 1,000 people. The city contains 15 voting precincts, totaling more than 21,000 registered voters. Robert Earl Richardson was the first Chief of Police when the city was chartered in December 1955.
There are more than 112 miles (180 km) of road within Madison Heights, of which the city maintains 105 miles (169 km), 95 miles (153 km) for snow removal, sweeping, and patching. Interstate 75 passes north to south on the west side of the city, and Interstate 696 is the major feature of its southern border. The junction of these two highways is shared with Royal Oak and Hazel Park on the southwest corner of Madison Heights.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Madison Heights MI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School Madison Heights MI
Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Madison Heights MI.
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