How to Choose the Best Welder Training Program near East Jordan Michigan
Selecting the right welding school near East Jordan MI is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when evaluating 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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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Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the East Jordan MI area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop 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 2 years to finish and are usually 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many 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 welding school you select should ready 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 Options
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of East Jordan MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Programs
When you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the East Jordan MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction 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 welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in East Jordan MI for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various 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 placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the East Jordan MI welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in 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 higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of East Jordan MI contacts to help students obtain 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 consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 East Jordan MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your East Jordan MI home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near East Jordan MI, confirm that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater East Jordan MI area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Where to Find Accredited Welding Classes East Jordan MI
Choosing the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where to Find Accredited Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic Where to Find Weekend Welding Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in East Jordan MI.
Other Michigan Welder Locations
East Jordan, Michigan
The city is at the end of the south arm of Lake Charlevoix, at the mouth of the Jordan River. M-66 connects with US 31 at Charlevoix about 12 miles (19 km) to the northwest and with US 131 at Mancelona, 18 miles (29 km) to the south. M-32 has its western terminus in the city and connects with US 131 about 16 miles (26 km) to the east and with I-75 at Gaylord about 29 miles (47 km) to the east.
East Jordan was founded sometime in the 1870s when a logging mill was built along the Jordan River near the town. There were originally two places; East Jordan itself began with a store built by William F. Empey, a Canadian immigrant, in 1874. There was also a place called South Arm. The two locales merged in 1878. It was incorporated as a village in 1887 and as a city in 1911.
The town grew quickly, and by 1890, it boasted a large ironworks (the East Jordan Iron Works still operates today), a feed mill, and a population of nearly 1000. By the turn of the century, the city was being serviced by two railroads. With these two railroad connections, East Jordan quickly grew into a major manufacturing center. To this day, four industrial corporations still operate within the town.