How to Enroll In the Right Welder Training Program near Catlin Illinois
Enrolling in the right welder school near Catlin IL is an important first step to launching your new career 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 notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when evaluating welding vocational 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs available in the Catlin IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.
Welding Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Catlin IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification as needed.
Questions to Ask Welder Technical Programs
After you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding vocational and trade schools in the Catlin IL area. That’s why it’s important to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you select 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 has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose 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 make sure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Catlin IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Catlin IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Catlin IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Catlin IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a few additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Catlin IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Catlin IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Catlin IL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely 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 Catlin IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Catlin Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Catlin is a village in Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 2,087 at the 2000 census, and 2,086 in 2009. Catlin is the hometown of Illinois State Representative Chad Hays, who represents the 104th Representative District of Illinois.
This settlement was originally called Butler's Point when James Butler settled here in 1820. He started a cemetery in 1822, known as "God's Acre" as well as Butler Cemetery; this is reputed to be the earliest cemetery in the county. The first school here was built in 1827 and was also used as a church.
According to the 2010 census, Catlin has a total area of 0.843 square miles (2.18 km2), of which 0.84 square miles (2.18 km2) (or 99.64%) is land and 0.003 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.36%) is water.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Catlin IL
Picking the right welder school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in TIG Welding Training. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Probably the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Catlin IL.