How to Select a Welding Trade School near New Baltimore Michigan
Finding the ideal welding technical school near New Baltimore MI is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the New Baltimore MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach 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 finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of New Baltimore MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type 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 certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welding Tech School
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the New Baltimore MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in New Baltimore 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 relationships within the New Baltimore MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A low rate may mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of New Baltimore MI employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed 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 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 New Baltimore MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick must be within driving distance of your New Baltimore MI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near New Baltimore MI, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near New Baltimore MI?
Perhaps you live in the New Baltimore 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.
New Baltimore, Michigan
New Baltimore is a city and a historic, coastal resort community in Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 12,084 at the 2010 census. New Baltimore is in Metropolitan Detroit.
New Baltimore incorporated as a village in 1867 and as a city in 1931. It is located on the north coastline of Lake St. Clair, along the boundary line of Macomb and St. Clair Counties. The town sits on the waterfront along Lake St. Clair's Anchor Bay, and offers a public park, beach, and downtown-shopping district.
German explorer Pierre Yax (b.1763) in Grosse Pointe, New France (now Michigan) was the first recorded non-Native American in the New Baltimore area. Pierre Yax was a son of Johan Michael Jacks, the first German in what would eventually become the state of Michigan. Pierre Yax arrived in New Baltimore in 1796 and subsequently obtained a land grant signed by President John Quincy Adams on July 23, 1826. The land grant tracked back to a land patent Yax had in 1812, when Michigan was still part of the Michigan Territory.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater New Baltimore MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed 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 desire to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Trade Program New Baltimore MI
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in New Baltimore MI.
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