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

How to Pick a Welding Training Program near Pontiac Michigan

Pontiac MI welding school studentLocating the right welding technical school near Pontiac MI is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine 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 reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes

Pontiac MI welder working on pipingThere are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Pontiac MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore 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 take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Pontiac MI welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Pontiac MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate 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 offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some 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 certain kinds of welds
  • Perform based on contract specifications

As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various 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, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program

Pontiac MI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Pontiac MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Pontiac MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered 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 reviewing help 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. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Pontiac MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Pontiac MI contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm 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 in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Pontiac MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Pontiac MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Pontiac MI, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Pontiac MI?

Perhaps you live in the Pontiac 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.

Pontiac, Michigan

Pontiac (/ˈpɒntiæk, ˈpɒni-/) is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, located in Metro Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 59,515. It is the county seat of Oakland County[5] and about 12 miles (19 km) north and slightly west of the Detroit city limits.

Founded in 1818, Pontiac is notably the second European-American organized settlement in Michigan within close proximity to Detroit, second only to Dearborn. It was named after Pontiac, a war chief of the Ottawa people who had occupied the area before the European settlers. The city achieved its widest reputation for its General Motors automobile manufacturing plants of the 20th century, which were the basis of its economy and contributed to the wealth of the region. These included Fisher Body, Pontiac East Assembly (a.k.a. Truck & Coach/Bus), which manufactured GMC products, and the Pontiac Motor Division. In the city's heyday, this was the primary automobile assembly plant where the famed Pontiac cars were produced, a brand that was named after the city. (The Pontiac name was discontinued by General Motors in 2010.) The City of Pontiac also was home to Oakland Motor Car Company, which was acquired by General Motors in 1909.

In 1975, the city built the Pontiac Silverdome, the stadium that hosted the Detroit Lions of the National Football League from 1975 to 2001, when the team returned to Downtown Detroit at Ford Field. Super Bowl XVI was played at the Silverdome in 1982. After 2001, the stadium continued to be used for concerts and other events until it was demolished in 2017.

Online Welder Classes

pipe welder at work in Pontiac MIWelding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Pontiac MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, 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 accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Best Welding Vocational Program Pontiac MI

Selecting the right welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Pontiac MI.

 

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