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

How to Find the Right Welding Trade School near Owosso Michigan

Owosso MI welding school studentEnrolling in the right welder vocational school near Owosso MI is an important first step to beginning 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 narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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

Owosso MI welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to receive 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Owosso MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Owosso MI welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Owosso MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Decide on a Welding Technical Program

Owosso MI welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Owosso MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider 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 program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Owosso MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Owosso MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Owosso MI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Owosso MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Owosso MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may 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 offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Owosso MI, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Owosso MI?

Perhaps you live in the Owosso 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.

Owosso, Michigan

Owosso is a city in Shiawassee County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 15,194 at the 2010 census. The city is located on the eastern side of Owosso Township, but is politically independent. The city was named after Chief Wasso, an Ojibwa leader of the Shiawassee area.[6]. Owosso is the largest city in Shiawassee County.

Alfred L. and Benjamin O. Williams were early settlers to the town. They drew Elias Comstock, who built the first permanent home in the settlement. Owosso was incorporated as a city in 1859 at which time it had 1000 people. It had never had a period as a village.[7] The town's first mayor was Amos Gould, a judge originally from New York. In 1876, it organized its fire department.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.37 square miles (13.91 km2), of which 5.23 square miles (13.55 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.[1]

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Owosso MIWelding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Owosso MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Best Welding Technical School Owosso MI

Choosing the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Owosso MI.

 

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