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

How to Select a Welding Technical School near Mancelona Michigan

Mancelona MI welding school studentChoosing the right welding vocational school near Mancelona MI is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

Mancelona MI welder working on pipingThere are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Mancelona MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Mancelona MI welder working on poleThere are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Mancelona MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific types of welds
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational Program

Mancelona MI welder working on carOnce you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Mancelona MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain 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). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Mancelona MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 establish relationships within the Mancelona MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Mancelona MI employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using 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 Mancelona MI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Mancelona MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree 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 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. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Mancelona MI, verify that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select 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 Mancelona MI?

Perhaps you live in the Mancelona 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.

Mancelona, Michigan

Mancelona Andress, daughter of Perry Andress, was born March 28, 1865 in Missouri. She came to the Mancelona area in 1869, when she was four years old. Her father was the first settler to locate at the site of the town.The township, and later, the village of Mancelona, took its name from her. In 1871 the Township was authorized by the Legislature in Antrim County. People came first primarily to farm. In 1872 the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad arrive opening up the Village to southern and northern trade centers. In 1882 a John Otis built a blast furnace in the unincorporated village of Antrim.

Mancelona is probably best known for its annual buck pole, a deer hunting contest that has drawn hunters from across the State. Additionally, Mancelona hosts the annual "Bass Festival", a four-day event featuring a Grand Parade, carnival, flea market, and other community activities. The Bass Festival is held the first weekend in June. In 1999, a new high school was opened, and renovations to the middle school were completed. Up until recently, the town had three factories that employed most of the town. The largest factory, a Dura Automotive Systems plant, closed in February 2009 and the community has had a change for the worse. From 1947 to 1967, Mount Clemens Industries, Incorporated, formerly Mt. Clemens Metal Products Company, used trichloroethylene (TCE) in vapor degreasers. Afterwards, the TCE was disposed of by dumping it on the ground near the building. Some TCE may also have been dumped into seepage pits and burned. Through these improper disposal methods, TCE has now contaminated the groundwater in and around Mancelona, MI. The contaminated plume begins at the manufacturing plant, currently known as Dura Automotive Manufacturing Plant, and extends approximately six miles to the northwest to the Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek Resort area. The leading edge of the Wickes Manufacturing TCE Plume (also known as Mancelona-Cedar River TCE Plume), at the resort area, is approximately 1.25 miles wide. The plume has also reached the Cedar River, and is now contaminating a cold-water, high quality trout stream. TCE is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor similar to chloroform. TCE is most commonly used as a degreasing solvent in manufacturing plants. Breathing small amounts may cause headaches, dizziness, lung irritation, and difficulty concentrating. Drinking water that contains TCE over an extended period of time can lead to liver and kidney problems and may also be carcinogenic. The TOSC Program at Michigan State University has been asked to provide assistance to Mancelona-area citizens regarding the Mancelona-Cedar River TCE Plume. TOSC met with Antrim County United through Ecology (ACUTE) and Mancelona-area citizens to assess community concerns and discuss TOSC's involvement. TOSC has developed a Memorandum of Understanding, which has been signed jointly by ACUTE and TOSC. [6] While the Mancelona area is as of 2012 the focus of extensive natural gas production activities associated with the Antrim Shale formation, this production does not support employment sufficient to recompense the community for the factories it once had.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2), all of it land.[1] The village is located at 44°54′08″N 85°03′39″W / 44.90222°N 85.06083°W / 44.90222; -85.06083

Online Welding Classes

pipe welder at work in Mancelona MIWelding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Mancelona MI area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, 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 performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Find the Best Welding Tech School Mancelona MI

Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Mancelona MI.

 

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