How to Pick the Right Welder Certification Class near Atlanta Illinois
Finding the ideal welder vocational school near Atlanta IL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations 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 starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a number of options to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available 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 summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Atlanta IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly 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 two years to complete and are most often 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.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Atlanta IL employers not only require 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 on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Tech Schools
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Atlanta IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic 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 make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Atlanta IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Atlanta IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Atlanta IL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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 unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Atlanta IL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Atlanta IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most 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 wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, speak with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atlanta IL, make sure that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Welding Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Atlanta IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Atlanta IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Atlanta 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, Atlanta has a total area of 1.268 square miles (3.28 km2), of which 1.26 square miles (3.26 km2) (or 99.37%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.63%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,649 people, 694 households, and 469 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,310 people per square mile (505/km²). There were 734 housing units at an average density of 583.3 per square mile (224.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.58% White, 0.12% Native American, 0.12% from other races, and 0.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.
There were 694 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.
Choose the Ideal Welding Technical School Atlanta IL
Picking the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Welding Evening Classes. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Atlanta IL.