How to Pick a Welding Certification Course near Southfield Michigan
Choosing the right welding technical school near Southfield MI is an important first step to launching your new occupation 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple 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 available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Southfield MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop 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 two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Southfield MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
How to Select a Welder Vocational School
Once you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Southfield MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Southfield MI for non-accredited schools. Also, 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. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Southfield MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might indicate that the students who joined 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 quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Southfield MI employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Southfield MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Southfield MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Southfield MI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Southfield MI?
Perhaps you live in the Southfield 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.
Southfield is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a northern suburb of Detroit, MI. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 71,739. A part of Metro Detroit's upscale office market, the city's marque is a cluster of five golden skyscrapers – known as the "Golden Triangle" – that form the contemporary 2,200,000 square feet (204,400 m2) Southfield Town Center office complex with a Westin Hotel and a conference center. In addition, a 33-story luxury residential high-rise is separate from the complex. To the west, near the confluence of I-696/Reuther Freeway and M-10/Lodge Freeway, is the American Center.
Southfield was surveyed in 1817 according to the plan by Michigan territorial governor Lewis Cass. The first settlers came from nearby Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan, as well as the states of New York and Vermont. The area that would become Southfield was settled by John Daniels in 1823. Among the founders were the Heth, Stephens, Harmon, McClelland and Thompson families.
Town 1 north, 10 east was first organized as Ossewa Township on July 12, 1830, but the name was changed seventeen days later to Southfield Township. The township took its name from its location in the "south fields" of Bloomfield Township. A US post office was established in 1833 and the first town hall built in 1873.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Southfield MI area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School Southfield MI
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Southfield MI.
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