How to Pick the Right Welder Technical School near Western Springs Illinois
Enrolling in the right welding school near Western Springs IL is an essential first step to starting your new career 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when examining 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 selected 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 Programs
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate 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 offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Western Springs IL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach 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 finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Western Springs IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding trade school you select preps you for certification if needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Western Springs IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed 2 significant 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 should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Western Springs IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Western Springs IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Western Springs IL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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. Otherwise, ask a local Western Springs IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Western Springs IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with 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 working at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Western Springs IL, make sure that the schools you are considering offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and therefore not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Western Springs IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly 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 bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Night Welding Classes Western Springs IL
Picking the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Night Welding Classes and wanted more information on the topic Welding Courses For Beginners. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Western Springs IL.
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Western Springs, Illinois
Western Springs is a village located in Cook County, Illinois, United States and is a suburb of Chicago. As of the 2010 census, the village had a total population of 12,975. It is twinned with Rugeley, United Kingdom.
In November, 2007, BusinessWeek.com listed Western Springs second in a list of the 50 best places to raise children. The rankings were based on five factors, including school test scores, cost of living, recreational and cultural activities, number of schools and risk of crime. Western Springs ranked behind Groesbeck, Ohio.
Western Springs, an affluent suburb located along the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (now the Burlington Northern Santa Fe) between Chicago and Aurora, encompasses roughly the area between Willow Springs Road (Gilbert Avenue), Ogden Avenue, Interstate 294, and West Plainfield Road. Named for local mineral springs on the southwest side of town , Western Springs originally consisted of flat prairie land with a swamp on its western border.
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