How to Find the Right Welding Technical School near Marion Michigan
Finding the right welding technical school near Marion MI is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose 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? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when examining welder technical 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Degree and Certificate Programs
There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in Marion MI.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Michigan technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by Michigan community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Marion MI.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Marion MI employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like 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 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
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As previously stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Marion MI employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by various Marion MI area community colleges and vocational schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, 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 work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Tech School
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Marion MI area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure 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, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for Marion MI non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various Marion MI metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding 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 instructional program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might 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 caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Marion MI employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Marion MI welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Marion MI home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the Marion MI area welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Marion MI, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Want to Become a Welder?When prepping to interview for a Welding position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a Welder, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to Welding, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Pick the Right Welding Technical School near Marion MI
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a must that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend 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 dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Marion MI.
About Marion Michigan
Marion Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan
Marion Township is a civil township of Charlevoix County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 1,714 at the 2010 census.
Marion Township is located in western Charlevoix County and is bordered by Antrim County to the south. The northeast corner of the township reaches into Lake Charlevoix, and the city of Charlevoix is just to the north of the township. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 26.5 square miles (68.7 km2), of which 25.6 square miles (66.2 km2) is land and 0.97 square miles (2.5 km2), or 3.58%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,492 people, 535 households, and 418 families residing in the township. The population density was 58.2 per square mile (22.5/km²). There were 632 housing units at an average density of 24.7 per square mile (9.5/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 95.44% White, 0.20% African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.47% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.68% of the population.
There were 535 households out of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.0% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.7% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.14.
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