How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Whittemore Michigan
Choosing the ideal welder technical school near Whittemore MI is an essential 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 significantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when examining welding trade 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Whittemore MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Whittemore MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. 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 types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welder Trade School
After you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Whittemore MI area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program 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 may need to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Whittemore MI for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon 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 place 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 establish associations within the Whittemore MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Whittemore MI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. 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 Whittemore MI welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Whittemore MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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 ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Whittemore MI, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick 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 Whittemore MI?
Perhaps you live in the Whittemore 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 384 people, 183 households, and 96 families residing in the city. The population density was 387.9 inhabitants per square mile (149.8/km2). There were 226 housing units at an average density of 228.3 per square mile (88.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 1.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 183 households of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 47 years. 19% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 33.1% were from 45 to 64; and 19% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.3% male and 54.7% female.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Whittemore MI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Choose the Right Welding Trade School Whittemore MI
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education 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 kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Whittemore MI.