How to Find the Right Welding Training Program near Erie Illinois
Selecting the ideal welder trade school near Erie IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create 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 Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Erie IL.
- Diploma and Certificate 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 largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welder Certification Alternatives
There are multiple institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Erie IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Some 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 various kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means 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 welding technical school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.
What to Ask Welding Tech Schools
After you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Erie IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you choose 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 a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Erie IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some 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. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Erie IL welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Erie IL employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Erie IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Erie IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses 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 provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Erie IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.
Online Welder Classes
Welding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a few online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Erie IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Erie IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Erie Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
According to the 2010 census, Erie has a total area of 1.449 square miles (3.75 km2), of which 1.44 square miles (3.73 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 1,589 people, 630 households, and 466 families residing in the village. The population density was 438.2/km² (1.132.7/sq mi). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 472.6 per square mile (182.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.80% White, 0.25% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.38% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.
There were 630 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.
Select the Right Welding Trade Program Erie IL
Choosing the best welding training program will probably 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 Learn MIG Welding. However, as we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means 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 a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Erie IL.