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

How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Ovid Michigan

Ovid MI welding school studentLocating the ideal welding vocational school near Ovid MI is an important first step to launching your new career 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when evaluating welding trade 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 develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

Ovid MI welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Ovid MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate 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, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working 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 certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Ovid MI welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Ovid MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welding Trade Program

Ovid MI welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Ovid MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, 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 vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic 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 offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Ovid MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Ovid MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ovid MI employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Ovid MI welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Ovid MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ovid MI, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Ovid MI?

Perhaps you live in the Ovid 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.

Ovid, Michigan

Ovid is a city in Clinton and Shiawassee counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. Nearly all of the city is located within Ovid Township in Clinton County. The population was 1,603 at the 2010 census.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,603 people, 578 households, and 398 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,742.4 inhabitants per square mile (672.7/km2). There were 618 housing units at an average density of 671.7 per square mile (259.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 0.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 578 households of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 18.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.1% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.12.

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in Ovid MIWelding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ovid MI area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Best Welding Trade Program Ovid MI

Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess 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 should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Ovid MI.

 

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