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

How to Pick a Welder Technical School near Plymouth Michigan

Plymouth MI welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welder technical school near Plymouth MI is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to establish 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 Programs

Plymouth MI welder working on pipingThere are several 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Plymouth MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop 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 usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Plymouth MI welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Plymouth 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 available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Tech Program

Plymouth MI welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Plymouth MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Plymouth MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Plymouth MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Plymouth MI contacts 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 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Plymouth MI welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Plymouth MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

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

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Plymouth MI, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Plymouth MI?

Perhaps you live in the Plymouth 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.

Plymouth, Michigan

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2), of which 2.21 square miles (5.72 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[2] It is located 15.6 miles (25.1 km) east of Ann Arbor and 26.3 miles (42.3 km) west of Detroit, just south of the M-14 highway and west of Interstate 275.

The City of Plymouth has a variety of shops and restaurants surrounding Kellogg Park, the de facto center of town. The Inn at St. John's, a hotel conference center and golf resort, is located in Plymouth. The city offers more than fifty recreation programs for all age groups, an NHL-size ice arena and twelve parks. It also organizes major community events such as the popular Fall Festival, Ice Sculpture Spectacular and the Art in the Park, and access to the Plymouth-Canton school district, with a unique complex composed of three high schools located on one 305-acre (1.23 km2) campus and is now one of the highest populated high school campuses in the country with close to 6500 students and over 800 faculty members. The Barefoot Productions theater company is located on Main Street.

The Plymouth Ice Spectacular, the largest and oldest ice carving festival in North America, is held every year in Plymouth in late January. Founded in 1982 by then 25-year-old Scott Lorenz,[9] the weekend-long event draws an average of 500,000 people to Plymouth each year and has helped establish ice carving as a world-class competitive event.[10][11]

Online Welding Schools

pipe welder at work in Plymouth MIWelding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Plymouth MI area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited 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 careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Find the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Plymouth MI

Picking the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Plymouth MI.

 

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