How to Find the Right Welding Degree Program near Downers Grove Illinois
Finding the right welding vocational school near Downers Grove IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine 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 looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Certificate and Degree Programs
There are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Downers Grove IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly to teach 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Choices
There are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Downers Grove IL employers not only demand a degree or certificate 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 kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with various types of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way 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 verify that the welder trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Downers Grove IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may want to consider before choosing a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example 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 Downers Grove IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Downers Grove IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate might indicate that the students who enrolled 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 higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Downers Grove IL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure 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 on the job. If you are not sure 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 Downers Grove IL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Downers Grove IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Downers Grove IL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Training Programs
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Downers Grove IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Downers Grove IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Downers Grove Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Downers Grove, Illinois
Downers Grove is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, whose surname serves as the eponym for the village. It is a south-western suburb of Chicago in the I-55 Corridor
Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, a farmer who traveled to Illinois from Rutland, New York, but was originally from Vermont. Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, Blanchard, Stanley, Lyman, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended from Aurora to Chicago through Downers Grove in 1864, boosting its population. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Its somewhat unusual spelling ("Apostrophe-free since 1873") remains a minor historical mystery.
Find the Best Welding Trade Program Downers Grove IL
Picking the ideal welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in MIG Welding Training. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal means 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 a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Downers Grove IL.
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