How to Choose the Right Welding Technical School near Colchester Illinois
Selecting the ideal welder school near Colchester IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Colchester IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.
Welder Certification Options
There are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Colchester IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills 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 kinds of welds
- Work based on contract specifications
As already stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder trade school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welder Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Colchester IL area. That’s why it’s important to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard kinds 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 verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Colchester IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Colchester IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Colchester IL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment 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 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 Colchester IL welding contractor if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you can relocate, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Colchester IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 a region or state where you subsequently will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Colchester IL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are a few online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Colchester IL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give 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 use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Attending a Welding School in Colchester IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Colchester Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
According to the North American Stratigraphic Code, rock units were given names that included the geographic name of a location where the rock unit was first described. If the rock unit consisted of a dominant rock type, the rock type was included in the name. In this case, when coal was first discovered and described in Colchester, Illinois, the rock unit was named "Colchester Coal". When this particular coal unit was encountered in a different location, the coal was correctly identified as Colchester Coal.
The mines in Colchester attracted immigrants from Pennsylvania. At first these included the descendants of Irish Protestant refugees from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Later they were joined by Irish Catholic refugees from the Great Famine.
During the 1920s, Colchester was the home of Henry "Kelly" Wagle, a bootlegger associated with Al Capone. Wagle was involved in the production of alcohol and its transportation between Chicago and Kansas City.
Select the Best Welding Technical School Colchester IL
Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Night Welding Classes. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Colchester IL.