How to Choose a Welding Certification Class near Scottville Michigan
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Scottville MI is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest 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 crucial concerns when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation 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 selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Scottville MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Scottville MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welder Tech School
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Scottville MI area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Scottville MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships 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 Scottville MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Scottville MI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Scottville MI welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding program you pick must be within driving distance of your Scottville MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true 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 should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Scottville MI, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Scottville MI?
Perhaps you live in the Scottville 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.
On July 23, 2007 Governor Jennifer Granholm announced Scottville as the community chosen by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to take part in the Cool Cities Michigan Main Street program. Scottville will receive five years of intensive technical assistance through MSHDA, to help create opportunities for new development, economic growth and jobs.  A similar award, the Blueprints for Downtowns award, were announced to be received by the communities of Caro, Clio and Ypsilanti.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.49 square miles (3.86 km2), all land. The city of Scottville itself is approximately 10 miles east of the city of Ludington and Lake Michigan, five miles west of the village of Custer and 10 miles south west of the village of Fountain.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,214 people, 483 households, and 309 families residing in the city. The population density was 814.8 inhabitants per square mile (314.6/km2). There were 578 housing units at an average density of 387.9 per square mile (149.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.9% White, 0.9% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 2.0% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.3% of the population.
Online Welder Courses
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Scottville MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Find the Right Welding Trade School Scottville MI
Picking the ideal welding training program will probably 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 evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program 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 decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Scottville MI.
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