How to Enroll In the Best Welding Training Class near Westmont Illinois
Enrolling in the ideal welder school near Westmont IL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Most prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain 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. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Westmont IL area.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies 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. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Westmont IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Vocational Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Westmont IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive 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 select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Westmont IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place 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 relationships within the Westmont IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Westmont IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Westmont IL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Westmont IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westmont IL, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Westmont IL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important 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 experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Classes For Welding Westmont IL
Selecting the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Classes For Welding and wanted more information on the topic Intensive Welding Course. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably 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. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Westmont IL.
Find More Welding Locations in Illinois
Westmont is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Westmont is a community of 5.03 square miles in area. Westmont had a 2000 population of 24,554, a partial special census was conducted 2007 resulting in a population of 26,211, and the census of 2010 put the population at 24,685. It is located approximately 18 miles (29 km) west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County.
The area known as Westmont was inhabited by the Potawatami until the year 1833. After several failed attempts by the U.S. government to persuade the Native Americans to move from the area, in 1833, the Native Americans agreed under coercion to vacate their land for nominal payment.
The development of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, authorized by the State of Illinois in the 1820s but delayed in construction until the 1830s, contributed to Westmont's early growth. When the economic Panic of 1837 halted canal construction, many of the workers turned to farming, and agriculture became the major occupation, with produce sold in nearby Chicago. The area around Westmont became one of the most prosperous sections of the state.
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