How to Pick a Welder Training Program near West Bloomfield Michigan
Enrolling in the right welder trade school near West Bloomfield MI is an important first step to beginning your new career 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 narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the West Bloomfield MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many West Bloomfield MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
How to Select a Welding Technical Program
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the West Bloomfield MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you select 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 consider before selecting a welder trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick 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). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in West Bloomfield MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the West Bloomfield MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of West Bloomfield MI employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. 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. Otherwise, ask a local West Bloomfield MI welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your West Bloomfield MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding certificate 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 a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Bloomfield MI, confirm that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near West Bloomfield MI?
Perhaps you live in the West Bloomfield 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.
West Bloomfield Township, Michigan
West Bloomfield Township, officially the Charter Township of West Bloomfield, is a charter township in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, within the Detroit metropolitan area. It is one of the most expensive places to live in Oakland County. As of the 2010 census, the township had a population of 64,690.
West Bloomfield is sometimes referred to by its residents as the "lake township of Oakland County", being heavily dotted with small and medium-sized lakes. Cass Lake, the largest lake in the county, is in part of West Bloomfield, and Pine Lake, which has a private country club on its shore, is only a few miles away from Cass and lies completely within West Bloomfield. In addition, directly west of Pine Lake is Orchard Lake, which also has a private country club on its shore. Orchard Lake is surrounded by the city of Orchard Lake Village. Several smaller lakes are scattered around these larger ones.
Orchard Lake Road runs north-south through the middle of the township and is the main artery of West Bloomfield's economy along with West Maple Road (15 Mile Rd.), flanked on each side by long strip malls and shopping complexes. There are many high-end boutique stores and expensive restaurants to visit. Most of the township's population growth has occurred since the 1960s, as many residents moved there from the inner ring Detroit suburbs. West Bloomfield is located in south-central Oakland County about 10 miles (20 km) to the northwest from the Detroit city limits and has borders with Bloomfield Township to its east, Farmington Hills to its south, Commerce Township to its west, and four communities to its north: Waterford Township, Orchard Lake Village, Keego Harbor, and Sylvan Lake. The communities of West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake Village, Keego Harbor, and Sylvan Lake make up what is known as Greater West Bloomfield.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater West Bloomfield MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Ideal Welding Tech School West Bloomfield MI
Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in West Bloomfield MI.
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