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

How to Enroll In a Welder Trade School near Wayland Michigan

Wayland MI welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding vocational school near Wayland MI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

Wayland MI welder working on pipingThere are several options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Wayland MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying 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 check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Wayland MI welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Wayland MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Tech School

Wayland MI welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Wayland MI area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before picking a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Wayland 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 diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships 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 help students find employment and establish relationships within the Wayland MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could signify 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Wayland MI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Wayland MI welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Wayland MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wayland MI, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wayland MI?

Perhaps you live in the Wayland 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.

Wayland, Michigan

The city is located at the northwest corner of Wayland Township, but is politically independent. The city has also incorporated a portion of land in the south of adjacent Leighton Township. U.S. Route 131 forms the eastern boundary of the city.

About two hundred years ago, the area now known as Wayland, Michigan was inhabited by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of the Pottawatomi, a Native American tribe in Michigan. The tribe lived in settled villages, hunted game, and farmed and harvested corn and wild rice, in addition to making maple sugar tree sap. The tribe is federally recognized and is headquartered in nearby Wayland Township. It owns the Gun Lake Casino, opened in 2011.[6]

The area began changing under pressure of European-American development. By 1826 the land had been surveyed for settlement in United States style. Colonel Isaac Barnes, attracted by the extensive forests of pine and hardwoods, purchased a tract of land along the Rabbit River and began operating a mill producing lumber and wooden shingles, giving the area its first name, Lumberton.[7]

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in Wayland MIWelding is truly a manual type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Wayland MI area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Ideal Welding Tech Program Wayland MI

Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed 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 prerequisite that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses 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 different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wayland MI.

 

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