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

How to Enroll In a Welder Certification Class near Oscoda Michigan

Oscoda MI welding school studentSelecting the ideal welding vocational school near Oscoda MI is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation 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 importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation 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 selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes

Oscoda MI welder working on pipingThere are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Oscoda MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced 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 furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Oscoda MI welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Oscoda MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder vocational school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welding Tech Program

Oscoda MI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Oscoda MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic 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 instance Welding Technology. So confirm 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Oscoda MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Oscoda MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Oscoda MI contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Oscoda MI welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Oscoda MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Oscoda MI, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Oscoda MI?

Perhaps you live in the Oscoda 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.

Oscoda Township, Michigan

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 131.1 square miles (340 km2), of which 121.8 square miles (315 km2) is land and 9.4 square miles (24 km2) (7.15%) is water.

Oscoda Township is served by Oscoda Area Schools, a school district which also serves AuSable Township, as well as portions of Wilber Township and portions of Alcona County. A satellite campus of Alpena Community College also operates on the former grounds of Wurtsmith Air Force Base (now Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport).

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 7,248 people, 3,170 households, and 2,066 families residing in the township. The population density was 59.5 per square mile (23.0/km²). There were 6,071 housing units at an average density of 49.9 per square mile (19.3/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.28% White, 0.80% African American, 1.02% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.30% of the population.

Online Welder Training

pipe welder at work in Oscoda MIWelding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Oscoda MI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School Oscoda MI

Choosing the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Oscoda MI.

 

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