How to Pick a Welding Degree Program near Petoskey Michigan
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near Petoskey MI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation 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 chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Petoskey MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Petoskey MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things 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 kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
How to Pick a Welding Trade Program
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Petoskey MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Petoskey MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Petoskey MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high 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 quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Petoskey MI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Petoskey MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Petoskey MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Petoskey MI, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out 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 Petoskey MI?
Perhaps you live in the Petoskey 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.
Petoskey is a city and coastal resort community in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was estimated at approximately close to 5,670 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Emmet County.
The Little Traverse Bay area was long inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Odawa people. The name "Petoskey" is said to mean "where the light shines through the clouds" in the language of the Odawa. However it is more likely that the town was named for the Joseph Petoskey family of Poland. The original Petoskey family posterity still reside in the town. Yet the romantic myth that the town was named for the Odawa chief is good for tourism. After the 1836 Treaty of Washington, Odawa Chief Ignatius Petosega (1787–1885) took the opportunity to purchase lands near the Bear River. Petosega's father was Antoine Carre, a French Canadian fur trader and his mother was Odawa.
By the 1850s, several religious groups had established missions near the Little Traverse Bay. A Mormon offshoot had been based at Beaver Island, the Jesuit missionaries had been based at L'arbor Croche and Michilimackinac, with a Catholic presence in Harbor Springs, then known as "Little Traverse". Andrew Porter, a Presbyterian missionary, arrived at the village of Bear River (as it was then called) in 1852.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Petoskey MI area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find 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.
Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School Petoskey MI
Selecting the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Petoskey MI.
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