How to Enroll In the Right Welding Certification Program near Bunker Hill Illinois
Finding the right welding technical school near Bunker Hill IL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 prudent to develop 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 Classes
There are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Bunker Hill IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete 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 readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Bunker Hill IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you choose preps you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welder Technical Schools
Once you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Bunker Hill IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder technical school you pick is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bunker Hill IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Bunker Hill IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Bunker Hill IL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Bunker Hill IL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you choose must be within commuting distance of your Bunker Hill IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers 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 subsequently will desire to work.
Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs 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 to a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bunker Hill IL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of vocation, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Bunker Hill IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Bunker Hill IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Bunker Hill Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Bunker Hill, Illinois
As Euro-Americans arrived in Macoupin County, the site of the future Bunker Hill was settled in 1830. At that time, the area was known as Wolf Ridge, due to the presence of wolves in the vicinity. The first settler was Elijah Lincoln in 1830, who established a land claim one and a half miles southwest of present Bunker Hill. Shortly after he made his claim, Lincoln and a Mr. Tuttle laid out a town, named Lincoln after the first settler. The earliest post office in the area was established in 1833 a mile south of Lincoln. A school house was built around 1831, and was also used as the meeting hall for the Baptist denomination. The first church in the area was built by the Baptists. The second was the Congregational Church in nearby Woodburn.
In 1834, County Surveyor Luke Knowlton entered 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land that now cover the center of Bunker Hill. On 25 December 1835, Moses True of Salisbury, New Hampshire, John Tilden of Boston, Massachusetts, and Robert Smith of Alton, Illinois visited Lincoln and formed a company to plat a town and improve the surrounding countryside. By 1836, the settlement of Lincoln had been abandoned, prompting Moses and company to establish a new town, which became Bunker Hill in 1837.
At 6:45am CST on 19 March 1948, a tornado that originated in Alton, Illinois blew through Bunker Hill, destroying the majority of the town's buildings and killing nineteen people. Although the tornado was only in town for less than a minute, the destruction was devastating. The downtown business district lost many of its buildings. The streets were impassable due to rubble from the storm. The newly renovated Meissner School was one of few buildings virtually undamaged by the tornado. A first aid station was set up in the school, with a temporary morgue in another classroom. By 9:00 am, ambulances from Alton, Carlinville, Litchfield, and Gillespie arrived to transport the injured to local hospitals. By the end of the day, National Guard units, US Army units, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, American Legion, VFW, and Illinois State Police had arrived to restore order and provide assistance to the citizens of Bunker Hill.
Select the Right Welding Technical Program Bunker Hill IL
Selecting the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Online Welding Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer 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 training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Bunker Hill IL.