How to Select the Right Welding Certificate Program near Donovan Illinois
Locating the right welding technical school near Donovan IL is an important first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 wise to establish 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.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Donovan IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about one year to complete. 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 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 furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Donovan IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, 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. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder technical school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Programs
As soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Donovan IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Donovan IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Donovan IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. 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 additionally that it has the network of Donovan IL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain 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 Donovan IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Donovan IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish 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 obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Donovan IL, make certain that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Online Welding Training Programs
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Donovan IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 want to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Donovan IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Donovan Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Donovan is located in northeastern Iroquois County at 40°53′3″N 87°36′57″W / 40.88417°N 87.61583°W / 40.88417; -87.61583 (40.884031, -87.615746).U.S. Route 52 passes through the village, leading west and north 30 miles (48 km) to Kankakee and southeast 14 miles (23 km) to Kentland, Indiana.
As of the census of 2000, there were 351 people, 132 households, and 97 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,127.4 people per square mile (437.2/km²). There were 142 housing units at an average density of 456.1 per square mile (176.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.30% White, 0.85% African American, 0.85% Native American, 1.42% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.13% of the population.
There were 132 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.1% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.
Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Donovan IL
Picking the best welding school will probably 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 Welding Bachelor Degree. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Donovan IL.