How to Select a Welder Certification Program near Memphis Michigan
Choosing the right welder school near Memphis MI is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are a number of alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Memphis MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Memphis MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also 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 just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Trade Program
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Memphis MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds 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, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 get a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Memphis MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Memphis MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Memphis MI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 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 modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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 Memphis MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Memphis MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Memphis MI, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm 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, sickness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Memphis MI?
Perhaps you live in the Memphis 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.
Memphis is a city located along the Mississippi River in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee. With an estimated 2017 population of 652,236, it is the cultural and economic center of West Tennessee and the greater Mid-South region that includes portions of neighboring Arkansas and Mississippi. Memphis is the seat of Shelby County, the most populous county in Tennessee. Approximately 315 square miles in area, Memphis is one of the most expansive cities in the United States and features a wide variety of landscapes and distinct neighborhoods.
Memphis was founded in 1819 as a planned city by a group of wealthy Americans including John Overton and future president Andrew Jackson. The plantation economy of the Antebellum South established Memphis as a major domestic trading post for African-American slave labor and agricultural commodities, especially cotton. Memphis seceded with Tennessee in 1861 during the American Civil War but was recaptured by Union forces in 1862 and occupied for the duration of the war. Slaves escaped to Union lines here and formed camps, where they started schools before the end of the war.
Home to Tennessee's largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement and was the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination. The city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum—a Smithsonian affiliate institution. Since the civil rights era, Memphis has forged forward to become one of the nation's leading commercial centers in transportation and logistics. The city's largest employer is the multinational courier corporation FedEx, which maintains its global air hub at Memphis International Airport, making it the second-busiest cargo airport in the world.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Memphis MI area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech Program Memphis MI
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final 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. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Memphis MI.
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