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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Program near Sterling Heights Michigan

Sterling Heights MI welding school studentFinding the right welding vocational school near Sterling Heights MI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating 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 explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs

Sterling Heights MI welder working on pipingThere are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Sterling Heights MI.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Sterling Heights MI welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Sterling Heights MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon 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 various kinds of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welder Technical Program

Sterling Heights MI welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Sterling Heights MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain 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 sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Sterling Heights MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. 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. The schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Sterling Heights MI welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Sterling Heights MI employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Sterling Heights MI welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Sterling Heights MI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sterling Heights MI, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Sterling Heights MI?

Perhaps you live in the Sterling Heights 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.

Sterling Heights, Michigan

Sterling Heights is a city in Macomb County of the U.S. state of Michigan, and one of Detroit's core suburbs. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 129,699.[6] It is the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit, and the fourth largest city in Michigan. Sterling Heights consistently ranks as the safest city in Michigan with population over 100,000.[7]

Sterling Heights was incorporated as a city in 1968. It was until the 1950s an agricultural area largely devoted to growing rhubarb and other crops sold in Detroit.[8] Prior to 1968 Sterling Heights was known as Sterling Township. It had from 1836 until 1838 been known as Jefferson Township.

Gerald Donovan became the first mayor of the city. F. James Dunlop became the first mayor pro-tem. There was already a small village named Sterling in Arenac County, so the word "Heights" was added to the township name to satisfy a state law that prevents incorporated municipalities from having the same name. "Moravian" was another name under consideration for the new city.[13]

Online Welder Training

pipe welder at work in Sterling Heights MIWelding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Sterling Heights MI area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to start 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. Clearly that can’t be done 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 would like 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 verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Choose the Best Welding Technical Program Sterling Heights MI

Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure 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 Sterling Heights MI.

 

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