How to Choose a Welding Training Program near Lake Orion Michigan
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Lake Orion MI is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in Lake Orion MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Michigan technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by Michigan community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Lake Orion MI.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Lake Orion MI employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Lake Orion MI employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various Lake Orion MI area community colleges and technical schools that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished 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 perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welding Technical Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Lake Orion MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most 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 should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 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, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available for Lake Orion MI schools that are not accredited. 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. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various Lake Orion MI 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined 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 high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Lake Orion MI contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Lake Orion MI welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Lake Orion MI home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than 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. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the Lake Orion MI area welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lake Orion MI, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welder position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to select Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Welder, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Welding, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding Welder and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
Find the Ideal Welding Trade Program near Lake Orion MI
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Lake Orion MI.
About Lake Orion Michigan
Lake Orion, Michigan
Lake Orion (/ˈɒriən/ ORR-ee-ən) is a village in the north side outskirts of Metro Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 2,973 at the 2010 census. "Lake Orion" is often used to describe both the village and the much larger Orion Township, of which the village is a part.
Lake Orion began as a resort town and over time has incorporated elements of a bedroom community.
Judah Church and Moses (or Samuel) Munson were among the first settlers. Munson, who arrived in 1824, built a sawmill in 1825, and planted the first orchard. Jesse Decker arrived from upstate New York with his wife, Mary, in 1825. Decker proved to be energetic and became "everything to everybody," so that the place soon became known as "Decker's Settlement," and the town was called "Canandaigua," after Canandaigua, New York, where the settlers originated. The settlement grew into a bustling commercial center with a sawmill, tavern, post office, general store, blacksmith shop, school and cemetery. In 1828, a power dam was built uniting several small lakes and forming the mile wide Lake Canandaigua, just west of the village.
In 1830, Jesse Decker raised the first frame barn in the area with the help of local Indians. The first post office was opened in 1832, with Decker as postmaster. In 1835, the community's name was changed from Canandaigua to Orion, and as a result, Lake Canadaigua would be renamed Lake Orion. The same year, the Township of Orion was formally approved by the Michigan Territorial government. Jesse Decker became the first Supervisor of Orion, with a salary of $2.00 a year. By 1836, two persons were licensed to keep taverns in the town, one of whom was Decker. Decker was elected to the first Michigan House of Representatives in 1837 and also served as justice of the peace for the Orion area. By 1840 Decker owned 440 acres (1.8 km2) of land.
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