How to Pick a Welding Training Program near Shelby Michigan
Enrolling in the right welding school near Shelby MI is an important first step to launching your new career 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 choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welder vocational 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Shelby MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Shelby MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Technical School
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Shelby MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed a couple of 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 must be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Shelby 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.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Shelby MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Shelby MI contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder programs 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 taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are unsure 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 Shelby MI welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Shelby MI home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure 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 Shelby MI, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Shelby MI?
Perhaps you live in the Shelby 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.
Shelby Charter Township, Michigan
Shelby Charter Township, officially the Charter Township of Shelby, is a charter township and census-designated place located in Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The township, an affluent northern suburb of Detroit, is located roughly 15 miles north of the city. As of the 2000 census, the township had a total population of 65,159. The 2010 Census places the population at 73,804. Shelby Charter Township is one of the fastest growing communities in Metro Detroit.
The U.S. Census Bureau has also defined Shelby Charter Township as a census-designated place (CDP) in the 2000 Census so that the community would appear on the list of places (like cities and villages) as well on the list of county subdivisions (like other townships). The final statistics for the township and the CDP are identical.
As of the census of 2010, there were 73,804 people, 28,299 households, and 17,923 families residing in the township. The racial makeup of the township was 89.4% White, 3.1% African American, 3.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Shelby MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously 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 desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade Program Shelby MI
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Shelby MI.
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