How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Wolverine Michigan
Selecting the right welding school near Wolverine MI is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Wolverine MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one 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 supplemental skills for working 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 diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Wolverine MI employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
How to Choose a Welding Trade Program
When you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Wolverine MI area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. 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 more factors you may want to consider before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select 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). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Wolverine MI for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 develop relationships within the Wolverine MI welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Wolverine MI contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Wolverine MI welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Wolverine MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Wolverine MI, make certain that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family circumstances.
Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Wolverine MI?
Perhaps you live in the Wolverine 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.
The wolverine (/ˈwʊlvəriːn/) (also spelled wolverene), Gulo gulo (Gulo is Latin for "glutton"), also referred to as the glutton, carcajou, skunk bear, or quickhatch, is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae. It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. A solitary animal, it has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself.
The wolverine is found primarily in remote reaches of the Northern boreal forests and subarctic and alpine tundra of the Northern Hemisphere, with the greatest numbers in Northern Canada, the American state of Alaska, the mainland Nordic countries of Europe, and throughout western Russia and Siberia. Its population has steadily declined since the 19th century owing to trapping, range reduction and habitat fragmentation. The wolverine is now essentially absent from the southern end of its European range.
Within the Gulo gulo species, a clear separation occurs between two subspecies: the Old World form Gulo gulo gulo and the New World form G. g. luscus. Some authors had described as many as four additional North American subspecies, including ones limited to Vancouver Island (G. g. vancouverensis) and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska (G. g. katschemakensis). However, the most currently accepted taxonomy recognizes either the two continental subspecies or G. gulo as a single Holarctic taxon.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Wolverine MI area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide 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 handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational School Wolverine MI
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Wolverine MI.