How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Addison Illinois
Enrolling in the right welding school near Addison IL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of 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 pick the best one? Most prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Addison IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Addison IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As previously mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder trade school you decide on readies you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Vocational Programs
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Addison IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of 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 should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before choosing a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Addison IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Addison IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial 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 dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Addison IL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Addison IL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Addison IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Addison IL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Addison IL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find 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 environment.
Attending a Welding School in Addison IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Addison Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The community itself was originally named Dunkley's Grove after the settler Hezekiah Dunklee, and was renamed after a town in England or Addison, New York. In 1864, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod moved its teacher training to the village from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and established the Addison Teachers Seminary; it remained in Addison until 1913, when it was relocated to River Forest, Illinois, as Concordia Teachers College (now Concordia University Chicago).
Adventureland amusement park was located in Addison (Lake and Medinah) during the 1960s and 1970s. The Addison Industrial District was the proposed location for the reconstruction of Comiskey Park in the late 1980s before this was voted down.
The Village of Addison lies on Salt Creek, a tributary of the Des Plaines River. Addison is located at 41°55′54″N 88°0′8″W / 41.93167°N 88.00222°W / 41.93167; -88.00222 (41.931573, −88.002221).
Find the Best Welding Trade School Addison IL
Picking the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Learning MIG Welding. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Addison IL.
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