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

How to Select a Welder Technical School near Montague Michigan

Montague MI welding school studentEnrolling in the right welding vocational school near Montague MI is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

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

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete 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 providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Montague MI welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Montague MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with various kinds of welds
  • Operate in compliance with contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welding Trade School

Montague MI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Montague MI area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important 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 considered. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you choose 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Montague MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing 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. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Montague MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Montague MI contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, 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 Montague MI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Montague MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides 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 want to work.

Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Montague MI, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Montague MI?

Perhaps you live in the Montague 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.

Montague, Michigan

The Montague ZIP code 49437 also serves all of Montague Township and White River Township, as well as a small portions of Whitehall Township and Blue Lake Township in Muskegon County and parts of Claybanks Township and Grant Township in Oceana County.[6]

Noah Ferry founded the city, naming it in honor of his father, William Montague Ferry, who founded the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg in neighboring Ottawa County. Ferry Church, built in 1874, is named in honor of Noah Ferry, who died fighting for the Union at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

At one time, Ferry Street, also named for the founder, was the main street through town. It was named for him because the city's post office operated on that street following its establishment in 1867, and Ferry was instrumental in getting a post office in the city. Although city hall, the city’s new post office (constructed in 2005), and a handful of businesses still operate on Ferry, Dowling Street has become the city's main route because of its eventual connection to neighboring communities and U.S. Highway 31.

Online Welding Classes

pipe welder at work in Montague MIWelding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Montague MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. 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 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Choose the Right Welding Tech School Montague MI

Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Montague MI.

 

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