Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Pointe aux Pins MI

How to Pick a Welder Trade School near Pointe aux Pins Michigan

Pointe aux Pins MI welding school studentLocating the ideal welding technical school near Pointe aux Pins MI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes

Pointe aux Pins MI welder working on pipingThere are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Pointe aux Pins MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two 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.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Pointe aux Pins MI welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Pointe aux Pins MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder performs. 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 certain kinds of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Trade School

Pointe aux Pins MI welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Pointe aux Pins MI area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Pointe aux Pins MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 associations within the Pointe aux Pins MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were 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 high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Pointe aux Pins MI contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Pointe aux Pins MI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within driving distance of your Pointe aux Pins MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Pointe aux Pins MI, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Pointe aux Pins MI?

Perhaps you live in the Pointe aux Pins 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.

Bois Blanc Township, Michigan

Bois Blanc Township is a civil township of Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, Bois Blanc Township's population was 71. The township is coterminous with Bois Blanc Island. The nearby, smaller and uninhabited Round Island is within the civil jurisdiction of the city of Mackinac Island. Bois Blanc Island's ZIP code is 49775.

"Bois Blanc" is French for "white wood". The name is commonly thought to be a reference to either: (a) the paper birch, or more likely (b) the basswood, called "bois blanc" in other contexts. The basswood's white underbark was extensively used by Native Americans and French-speaking fur traders for cordage, including the sewing up of canoes and the manufacture of webbing for snowshoes.

Bois Blanc was ceded by the local Anishinaabe (Chippewa) to the U.S. federal government with the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. After extensive use as a source of kilned lime and firewood for Mackinac Island and other local frontier settlements, Bois Blanc was settled in the late 1800s as a summer resort community. The Bois Blanc Light lighthouse (1867) survives on the northern shore of the island; it is no longer in service as a lighthouse and is not open to the public.

Online Welding Training

pipe welder at work in Pointe aux Pins MIWelding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Pointe aux Pins MI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced 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 very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational School Pointe aux Pins MI

Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Pointe aux Pins MI.

 

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