How to Select the Best Welding Certification Class near West Frankfort Illinois
Choosing the right welding technical school near West Frankfort IL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Programs
There are several options available to obtain 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the West Frankfort IL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous West Frankfort IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
Topics to Ask Welding Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the West Frankfort IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder technical school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two 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 has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not available in West Frankfort IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the West Frankfort IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of West Frankfort IL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with 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 West Frankfort IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your West Frankfort IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk to a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications 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 considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near West Frankfort IL, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select 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 circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of trade, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater West Frankfort IL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly 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 better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Learn To Weld Class West Frankfort IL
Picking the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learn To Weld Class and wanted more information on the topic Where To Learn To Weld. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in West Frankfort IL.
Find More Welding Locations in Illinois
West Frankfort, Illinois
Although one might associate the name "West Frankfort" with the city "Frankfurt" in Germany, or Frankfort in Kentucky, the truth is far more local. Around 1810, early Tennessee settler Francis ("Frank") Jordan and his seven brothers began the construction of a fort atop a hill in present-day Franklin County. Completed in 1811, the fort was named "Frank's Fort," in Jordan's honor.
Frank's Fort was built in today's Williamson County, Ill., near Corinth. A few miles to the east, Francis' brother, Thomas Jordan, built "Jordan's Fort" in Cave Township, Franklin County, Ill., near the town of Thompsonville.
The construction of these forts was in response to the danger of attack during Tecumseh's War, which culminated in the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Then-governor of the Illinois Territory, Ninian Edwards, actively encouraged the construction of these forts and offered the services of the Saline Militia in their erection. Thus, both Jordan family forts were built with the help of the Illinois Militia for safety of the civilians.