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

How to Pick a Welder Certification Class near Williamston Michigan

Williamston MI welding school studentChoosing the ideal welder technical school near Williamston MI is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Training Classes

Williamston MI welder working on pipingThere are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Williamston MI.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Williamston MI welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Williamston MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Trade School

Williamston MI welder working on carAfter you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Williamston MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Williamston MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Williamston MI welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Williamston MI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Williamston MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Williamston MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding 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 ultimately will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Williamston MI, confirm that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Williamston MI?

Perhaps you live in the Williamston 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.

Williamston, Michigan

Williamston is a city in Ingham County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The city is at the southeast corner of Williamstown Township, but is politically independent. A portion of Williamston was annexed from adjacent Wheatfield Township. Downtown Williamston is located at the intersection of Grand River Avenue (M-43) and Putnam Street (Williamston Road). The population was 3,854 at the 2010 census. Williamston is most notable for its antiques markets, and it has been promoted as a quaint, small town just outside the larger city of Lansing. It recently renovated McCormick Park, which borders the Red Cedar River in downtown Williamston.

The location that was later to become Williamston started as the cross-road of the Grand River and Saginaw Indian Trails. It was first occupied by a small band of the Saginaw tribe of the Chippewa People which by the mid-19th century used the area as a 'summer village' (it was not used by them year-round, but they 'wintered' in the area that is now Meridian Township). They used Williamston for planting crops, burying their dead, and holding an annual spring gathering, primarily using the land just north of the Red Cedar River.

The area was settled by Europeans in 1834 when Hiram and Joseph Putnam moved briefly to the area from Jackson. They spent less than one full year in the area, planting and then harvesting one crop of oats. Today, inside the city limits, Williamston Road becomes Putnam Street, having been named in their honor. (For many years, several street signs inside the city were misspelled as "Putman Street", leading to confusion about the correct spelling.)

Online Welder Classes

pipe welder at work in Williamston MIWelding is very much a manual kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Williamston MI area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical 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 need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Ideal Welding Technical School Williamston MI

Selecting the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin 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 schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach 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 some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Williamston MI.

 

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