How to Find the Right Welder Certification Class near Augusta Illinois
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Augusta IL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welder trade 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 prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses
There are a number of options available 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Augusta 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 scope, fashioned largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are multiple organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Augusta IL employers not only require a degree or certificate 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 performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Augusta IL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your chosen 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 qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before selecting 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 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 offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 obtain a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Augusta IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Augusta IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Augusta IL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate 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 unsure 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 Augusta IL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Augusta IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Augusta IL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Augusta IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. However, 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 more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Augusta IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Augusta Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Augusta is located in southeastern Hancock County at 40°13′51″N 90°57′3″W / 40.23083°N 90.95083°W / 40.23083; -90.95083 (40.230946, -90.950741).Illinois Route 61 passes through the village, leaving to the west as Main Street and to the north as Center Street; Bowen is 6 miles (10 km) to the west, and Plymouth is 5 miles (8 km) to the north. Augusta's Main Street continues east from the center of town as Illinois Route 101, leading 3 miles (5 km) to Weinberg-King State Park and 15 miles (24 km) to Littleton.
On September 18, 1858, soon-to-be President Abraham Lincoln visited Augusta, where he gave a speech and stayed at the home of Elder James Stark. Previously, Lincoln's opponent in the historic Lincoln–Douglas debates, Stephen A. Douglas, had spoken in Augusta. In 1864, Congressman James Garfield (the future president) spoke in Augusta on behalf of Lincoln. Other notable visitors include William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt in the fall of 1900. Only Roosevelt gave a short speech on his trip through Augusta during the campaign.
As of the census of 2000, there were 657 people, 296 households, and 179 families residing in the village. The population density was 921.1 people per square mile (357.3/km²). There were 330 housing units at an average density of 462.7 per square mile (179.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.70% White, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.76% of the population.
Choose the Right Welding Vocational Program Augusta IL
Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in 6 Week Welding Course. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Augusta IL.