How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Royal Oak Michigan
Finding the ideal welder trade school near Royal Oak MI is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training
There are several options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Royal Oak MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prep 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 several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Royal Oak MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different 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 verify that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Trade Program
Once you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Royal Oak MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard 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, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Royal Oak MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Royal Oak MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Royal Oak MI contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Royal Oak MI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Royal Oak MI home. If you do choose 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 true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Royal Oak MI, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Royal Oak MI?
Perhaps you live in the Royal Oak 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.
Royal Oak, Michigan
Royal Oak is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a suburb of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 57,236. It is the 8th-largest municipality in Oakland County and the 27th-largest municipality in Michigan by population.
Early Europeans in this area were French Canadians; some traded with the Sauk and other Native Americans in the area. After defeating France in the Seven Years' War, Great Britain took control of their territory east of the Mississippi River, including Fort Detroit and environs. It promoted development of western Ontario, across the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, after the Revolutionary War.
Royal Oak was not incorporated as a village until 1891, and as a city in 1921. The name was applied in 1819, during one of Territorial Governor Lewis Cass' surveying expeditions. A large oak tree located near the present-day intersection of Crooks, Rochester, and Main reminded Cass of the Royal Oak which King Charles II of England hid in to escape capture by the Roundheads after the Battle of Worcester. He named the settlement after that, several years after the United States had fought Great Britain across the northern border in the War of 1812.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Royal Oak MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School Royal Oak MI
Choosing the best welding training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Royal Oak MI.
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