How to Find the Right Welder Degree Program near Lansing Michigan
Choosing the right welder technical school near Lansing MI is an important first step to starting your new career 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 choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Courses
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, 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 explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Lansing MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually made available by Michigan technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. 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 supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by Michigan community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder in Lansing MI.
Welding Certification Options
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Lansing MI employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few 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 certain types of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Lansing MI employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Training
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding programs offered by specific Lansing MI area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Choose a Welding Trade School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Lansing MI area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people look at 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 looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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 make sure that the program you select 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 obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for Lansing MI schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and various Lansing MI metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might 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 an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Lansing MI employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Lansing MI welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Lansing MI home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship 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 subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the Lansing MI area welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lansing MI, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Welding Technician?When getting ready to interview for a Welding position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask Welder applicants is "What drove you to pick Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Welding Tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to Welding, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right Welding Tech School near Lansing MI
Selecting the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Lansing MI.
About Lansing Michigan
Lansing /ˈlænsɪŋ/ is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.
The Lansing Metropolitan Area, colloquially referred to as "Mid-Michigan", is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. The area is home to two medical schools, one veterinary school, two nursing schools, two law schools—including Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Michigan State University College of Law, a Big Ten Conference university - (Michigan State University), the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.
Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. The seat of government of Ingham County is Mason, but the county maintains some offices in Lansing.
The first recorded person of European descent to spot the area that is now Lansing was explorer Hugh Heward in 1790 while canoeing the Grand River. The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed as "Township 4 North Range 2 West" in February 1827 in what was then dense forest. It was the last of the county's townships to be surveyed, and the land was not offered for sale until October 1830. There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.
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