How to Select the Best Welding Technical School near Augusta Michigan
Enrolling in the ideal welder trade school near Augusta 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain 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 offered 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. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Augusta MI area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop 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 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Augusta MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just 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 certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welding Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Augusta MI area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in Augusta MI for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place 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 partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Augusta MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in 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 verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Augusta MI contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Augusta MI welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Augusta MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely 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 instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Augusta MI, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Augusta MI area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
TIG Welding Training Course Augusta MI
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Training Course and wanted more information on the topic How to Choose a Welding Certification Program near. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Augusta MI.
Other Michigan Welder Locations
Augusta is a village in Kalamazoo County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 885 at the 2010 census. The village is mostly within Ross Township, though a small portion extends south into Charleston Township.
Augusta is situated on M-96, about five miles (8 km) northeast of Galesburg, and about seven miles (11 km) west of downtown Battle Creek. Kalamazoo is an additional ten miles (16 km) west of Galesburg. Fort Custer Recreation Area is immediately south of the village on the east side of the Kalamazoo River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.02 square miles (2.64 km2), of which 1.01 square miles (2.62 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
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