How to Choose the Right Welder Degree Program near Aurora Illinois
Choosing the ideal welding school near Aurora IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Aurora IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Aurora IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various kinds of welds
- Perform in compliance with contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally 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
When you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Aurora IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. 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). Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Aurora IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Aurora IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could indicate 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 a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Aurora IL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Aurora IL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Aurora IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Aurora IL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Aurora IL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to start their education and training. 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 done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Aurora IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Aurora Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, is a city predominantly in Kane County and DuPage County, with portions extending into Kendall and Will counties. It is in the outer region of Chicago metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second most populous city in the state, and the 114th most populous city in the country. The population was 197,899 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to have increased to 200,963 by July 2018.
Once a mid-sized manufacturing city, Aurora has grown since the 1960s. Founded within Kane County, Aurora's city limits and population have expanded into DuPage, Will, and Kendall counties. Between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Aurora as the 34th fastest-growing city in the United States. From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the city as the 46th fastest growing city with a population of over 100,000.
In 1908, Aurora adopted the nickname "City of Lights", because in 1881 it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system. Aurora's historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island. The city is divided into three regions, the West Side, on the west side of the Fox River, the East Side, between the eastern bank of the Fox River and the Kane/DuPage County line, and the Far East Side/Fox Valley, which is from the County Line to the city's eastern border with Naperville.
Find the Best Welding Technical School Aurora IL
Selecting the best welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Beginners Welding Course. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Aurora IL.
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