How to Pick a Welder Training Program near Lakeview Michigan
Choosing the ideal welding trade school near Lakeview MI is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of 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 cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial concerns when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in Lakeview MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Michigan technical and trade schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by Michigan community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Lakeview MI.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Lakeview MI employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Lakeview MI employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding programs offered by specific Lakeview MI area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until 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 more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate 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 Decide on a Welder Tech Program
After you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Lakeview MI area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Lakeview MI non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have associations with local unions and various Lakeview MI 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the local welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean 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 higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Lakeview MI contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, 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. If not, ask a local Lakeview MI welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Lakeview MI home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the Lakeview MI area welding programs you are looking at. 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 some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Lakeview MI, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask Welding applicants is "What drove you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Welder and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Pick the Right Welding Trade School near Lakeview MI
Selecting the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lakeview MI.
About Lakeview Michigan
Lake View, Chicago
Lake View, also spelled Lakeview, is one of the 77 community areas of Chicago, Illinois, located on the city's North Side. It is bordered by West Diversey Parkway on the south, West Irving Park Road on the north, North Ravenswood Avenue on the west, and the shore of Lake Michigan on the east. The Uptown community area is to Lakeview's north, Lincoln Square to its northwest, North Center to its west and Lincoln Park to its south. The 2015 population of Lakeview was 98,212 residents, making it the largest of the Chicago community areas by population.
Lakeview unofficially includes smaller neighborhood enclaves: Sheridan Station Corridor, Boystown, Northhalsted, Southport Corridor, Wrigleyville, & Wrigley Plaza. Boystown, famous for its large LGBT population, holds the pride parade held each June. Wrigleyville, another popular district, surrounds Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Lakeview is home to the Belmont Theater District showcasing over 30 theaters and live performance venues located near the Belmont El station. In 2013 Money Magazine named Lakeview as number 3 of its top 10 Big-city neighborhoods for its selection of Best Places to Live.
Lakeview was used as a camp and trail path for the Miami, Ottawa, and Winnebago Native American tribes. In 1837, Conrad Sulzer of Winterthur, Zürich, Switzerland, became the first known white settler to live in the area. In 1853, one of the first permanent structures was built by James Rees and Elisha Hundley on the corner where present-day West Byron Street (or West Sheridan Road) meets North Lake Shore Drive and was called the Hotel Lakeview, named for the hotel's unobstructed view of the shore of Lake Michigan. It gained what was characterized as a resort atmosphere.
The early settlement continued to grow, especially because of increased immigration of farming families from Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden. Lakeview experienced a population boom as Chicago suffered a deadly and devastating cholera outbreak. The Hotel Lakeview served as refuge for many Chicagoans but became filled to capacity. Homestead lands were sold and housing was built. Access to the new community was provided by a wooden plank road connected to present-day West Fullerton Parkway, which was called Lakeview Plank Road and is the present-day North Broadway. With infrastructure and growing population, residents realized it was time to organize formal governance to provide essential public services.
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