How to Select the Right Welding Training Program near Carlinville Illinois
Choosing the ideal welding technical school near Carlinville IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes
There are several 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 Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Carlinville IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Carlinville IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work according to 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 prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Vocational Schools
When you have decided on the credential you want to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Carlinville IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Carlinville IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, 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 welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon 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 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 placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Carlinville IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Carlinville IL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, 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 up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Carlinville IL welding professional if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Carlinville IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, chat with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Carlinville IL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Classes
Welding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Carlinville IL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Carlinville IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Carlinville Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
As of the 2010 Census, the population was 5,917, and 5,665 at a 2015 estimate. It is the county seat of Macoupin County, and is an outlying part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
Carlinville has long been a site of Illinois history, and has played host to many presidential hopefuls via campaign stops at a time in American history when railway routes produced many visits by politicians. Perhaps the largest and most important hallmark of Carlinville's history is its courthouse, the largest built outside of New York City at the time of its erection. Built in 1870 and designed by famous state capitol building architect Elijah E. Myers, the construction of Carlinville's courthouse produced its candidacy for the location of the State Capitol. Locally, it is known as "The Million Dollar Courthouse" due to its cost overruns at the time it was built.
In the early 1900s Carlinville became the site of a great many Sears Catalog Homes. An entire neighborhood was constructed of the homes and was funded, in 1918, by Standard Oil of Indiana for its mineworkers in Carlinville, at a cost of approximately 1 million dollars. In gratitude, Sears, Roebuck named one of its house models the "Carlin." Today 149 of the original 156 homes still exist, the largest single repository of Sears Catalog Homes in the United States.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational Program Carlinville IL
Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Local Welding Schools. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Carlinville IL.