How to Enroll In the Right Welding Degree Program near Canton Illinois
Finding the ideal welder school near Canton IL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when reviewing welding 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 create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 typical welding programs available in the Canton IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams 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 welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Canton 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 wide range of certifications are offered dependent on 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 certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder vocational school you decide on readies you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Canton IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before picking a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose 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 a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Canton IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Canton IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Canton IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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. If not, ask a local Canton IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Canton IL home. If you do choose 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 true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a couple of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Canton IL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Canton IL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with 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 use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Canton IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Canton Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Canton is the largest city in Fulton County, Illinois, United States. The population was 14,704 at the 2010 census, down from 15,288 as of the 2000 census. The Canton Micropolitan Statistical Area covers all of Fulton County; it is in turn part of the wider Peoria-Canton, IL Combined Statistical Area (CSA).
Canton is located in northeastern Fulton County at 40°33′28″N 90°02′03″W / 40.557737°N 90.034264°W / 40.557737; -90.034264. Illinois Routes 9 and 78 pass through the downtown together. IL 9 leads east 8 miles (13 km) to Banner near the Illinois River and west 27 miles (43 km) to Bushnell, while IL 78 leads north 10 miles (16 km) to Farmington and south 11 miles (18 km) to Little America in the Illinois River valley.
According to the 2010 census, Canton has a total area of 8.063 square miles (20.88 km2), of which 7.9 square miles (20.46 km2) (or 97.98%) is land and 0.163 square miles (0.42 km2) (or 2.02%) is water.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Canton IL
Selecting the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Cost Of Welding School. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Canton IL.