How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Wayne Michigan
Choosing the right welding vocational school near Wayne MI is an important first step to starting your new career 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When 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 welding trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish 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.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn 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 made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs offered in the Wayne MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach 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 2 years to finish and are usually 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Wayne MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
How to Decide on a Welding Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Wayne MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant 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 should be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Wayne MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Wayne 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 essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Wayne MI employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wayne MI welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Wayne MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Wayne MI, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wayne MI?
Perhaps you live in the Wayne 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.
Wayne is a city in Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan, west of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,593. Wayne has a long history of automotive and transportation related manufacturing. Ford Motor Company currently has two plants here; Wayne Stamping & Assembly and the Michigan Assembly Plant, formerly known as the Michigan Truck Plant.
The site of Wayne was crossed by the Sauk Trail, and due to this, the area was visited by Potawatomi and French fur traders for years before permanent settlement. The first settler was George M. Johnson, who built a small log cabin on 80 acres of land in 1824 (a state historical marker can now be found at the site). The cabin served as a tavern for travelers along the trail, by then known as the Chicago Road. The area soon became known as Johnson's Tavern. After a few years, the tavern was sold to Stephen G. Simmons, who continued to operate the business until he murdered his wife while in a drunken rage. Simmons was arrested and taken to Detroit, where he was tried and hanged September 24, 1830. He became the last person to be executed in Michigan, as the territory abolished capital punishment shortly thereafter.
In 1832, Ezra Derby bought the tavern and land from the Simmons heirs and began establishing a settlement. Derby built a sawmill, store, mill, blacksmith shop and the first frame dwelling for himself. In 1834, a plat was recorded in Detroit with lots and a town square under the name Derby's Corners. In 1836, the name of the settlement was changed to Wayne, in honor of Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne. Soon a small hamlet began to develop, which was accelerated by the arrival of the Michigan Central Railroad in 1838. The Chicago Road that ran through Wayne was paved with oak logs in 1850, becoming the Detroit and Saline Plank Road. In 1867 it was changed to its current name of Michigan Avenue. In 1869, Wayne was incorporated as a village with a population of about 800 people. (In 1960 Wayne officially became a city.)
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Wayne MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give 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 done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Pick the Right Welding Vocational Program Wayne MI
Selecting the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical 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 assess and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every 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 instructors. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Wayne MI.
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