How to Select a Welder Training Program near Olivet Michigan
Locating the ideal welder school near Olivet MI is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options to get 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Olivet MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate 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 check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Olivet MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welder Tech Program
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, 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 Olivet MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for example 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 recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Olivet MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments 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 degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Olivet 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 school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Olivet MI employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm 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 using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Olivet MI welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Olivet MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak 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 Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Olivet MI, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Olivet MI?
Perhaps you live in the Olivet 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,605 people, 426 households, and 247 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,573.5 inhabitants per square mile (607.5/km2). There were 483 housing units at an average density of 473.5 per square mile (182.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.8% White, 6.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 426 households of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.0% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.04.
The median age in the city was 21.7 years. 15.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 47.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.9% were from 25 to 44; 15% were from 45 to 64; and 6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 52.4% male and 47.6% female.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Olivet MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done 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 desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Select the Ideal Welding Vocational School Olivet MI
Selecting the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Olivet MI.
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