How to Select the Right Welder Training Program near Bolingbrook Illinois
Selecting the right welder technical school near Bolingbrook IL is an essential first step to beginning 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder trade 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are a number of options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Bolingbrook IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are multiple institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Bolingbrook IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As formerly stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding vocational school you decide on prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Programs
When you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Bolingbrook IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 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, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Bolingbrook IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Bolingbrook IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Bolingbrook IL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding 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. Specifically, 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Bolingbrook IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Bolingbrook IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers 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 ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bolingbrook IL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is very much a manual kind of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Bolingbrook IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited 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 careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Bolingbrook IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Bolingbrook Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
The village of Bolingbrook is a southwest suburb of Chicago in Will and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2017 US Census, the population is 75,201. It is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and the state's 2nd largest village.
According to the 2010 census Bolingbrook has a total area of 24.257 square miles (62.83 km2), of which 24.05 square miles (62.29 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
Interstate 55, locally the Stevenson Expressway, runs through the southern part of the village heading northeast toward Chicago and southwest toward Plainfield and Joliet. Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway (formerly the North-South Tollway), runs along the far east side of the village between New Lenox and Addison. Illinois Route 53, locally known as Bolingbrook Drive, runs north–south through the middle of the village.
Choose the Ideal Welding Trade Program Bolingbrook IL
Picking the ideal welder school will probably 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 Welding Technical School. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Bolingbrook IL.
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