How to Pick a Welder Certification Class near Livonia Michigan
Locating the ideal welding technical school near Livonia MI is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder trade 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 prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 prevalent welding programs available in Livonia MI.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by Michigan technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder in Livonia MI.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Livonia MI employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, many states, cities 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 way to prove to Livonia MI employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain Livonia MI area community colleges and vocational schools that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally 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 expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welding Tech School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Livonia MI area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the training 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 extremely important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types 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 example Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, 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 ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available for Livonia MI non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various Livonia MI metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 school has a good reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Livonia MI contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. 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 Livonia MI welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Livonia MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the Livonia MI area welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present 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 Livonia MI, verify that the schools you are looking at provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family circumstances.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welding Technician?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Welder prospects is "What drove you to choose Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welder, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Welding Technical School near Livonia MI
Selecting the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Livonia MI.
About Livonia Michigan
Livonia is a city in the northwest part of Wayne County in the U.S. state of Michigan. Livonia is a large suburb with an array of traditional neighborhoods (most of which were built in the 1950s and 1960s) connected to the metropolitan area by freeways. The population was 96,942 at the 2010 census, making it Michigan's ninth largest municipality. The municipality is a part of Metro Detroit, and is located approximately 15 miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Detroit, and less than two miles (3 km) from the western city limits of Detroit (Redford Township lies between the two).
First settled by pioneers from New England and New York, an act by the Legislature of the Territory of Michigan established the borders of Livonia Township on March 17, 1835. The settlers brought with them the name "Livonia", a name that had already been given to Livonia, New York, Livonia, Pennsylvania and a region of the Baltic Sea named Livonia in present-day Estonia and Latvia, from which many early settlers came.
During the days of the city being a township, many small communities have existed. One of these was Elmwood, initially known as McKinley's Station. It was a stop on the Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad. It had a post office from 1858 until 1906. There was a post office in the township named Giltedge from 1899 until 1902.
Livonia was incorporated into a city on May 23, 1950, by vote of the citizens of the township. A significant motivation was to gain tax revenues from the DRC (Detroit Race Course), which was Michigan's only thoroughbred horse race track; it closed in 1998.
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