How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Program near Ashley Illinois
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Ashley IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous 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 pick the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located 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 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 trade 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 Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Ashley IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select 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 Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Ashley IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge 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 already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, many also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding vocational school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Programs
When you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Ashley IL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 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, for example Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Ashley IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Ashley IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Ashley IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Ashley IL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Ashley IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, speak with a couple 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. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ashley IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Ashley IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned 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 extremely careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Ashley IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Ashley Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
According to the 2010 census, Ashley has a total area of 1.122 square miles (2.91 km2), of which 1.1 square miles (2.85 km2) (or 98.04%) is land and 0.022 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 1.96%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 613 people, 245 households, and 160 families residing in the city. The population density was 553.6 people per square mile (213.2/km²). There were 274 housing units at an average density of 247.5 per square mile (95.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.21% White, 0.16% African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.49% from other races, and 0.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.
There were 245 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.12.
Find the Ideal Welding Vocational School Ashley IL
Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in I Want To Become A Welder. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Ashley IL.