How to Enroll In the Right Welder Degree Program near Frankfort Illinois
Finding the ideal welder technical school near Frankfort IL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Frankfort IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Frankfort IL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Points to Ask Welder Technical Schools
When you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welder vocational and trade schools in the Frankfort IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed two significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welding vocational school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So confirm 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Frankfort 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 also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing 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 assistance program. These schools should have partnerships 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 Frankfort 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 complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Frankfort IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Frankfort IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.
School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select must be within commuting distance of your Frankfort IL home. If you do choose to enroll in 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 certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will wish to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with some of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Frankfort IL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Frankfort IL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across 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 setting.
Attending a Welding School in Frankfort IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Frankfort Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Frankfort is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The population was 17,782 at the 2010 census, up from 10,391 in 2000. According to Forbes.com, in 2007 the village ranked as the 36th fastest growing suburb in the United States.
The name "Frankfort" was taken from Frankfort Township as designated by the governing board of Will County. It was commonly known as "Frankfort Station" after the opening of the Joliet & Northern Indiana Railroad through the township in 1855, though the official plat of the community dated March 1855 shows the name as "Frankfort". Property deed abstracts and railroad documents also show that the name was always Frankfort. Local residents incorporated Frankfort as a village in 1879. It also has some reference to the major German city of Frankfurt.
First inhabited by Native Americans, including the Potawatomi and Sac and Fox tribes, Frankfort was used as a conduit between the Des Plaines and St. Joseph rivers. Originally, the area was part of the Virginia Territory before the French signed a treaty with Manitoqua, the Potawatomi chief, for land in the Prestwick area. The first pioneers came to Frankfort in the early 1830s by means of the Des Plaines River from the southwest and by wagon from the east along the Sauk Trail, a roadway that still exists today.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Frankfort IL
Picking the right welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Where To Learn To Weld. However, as we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welder training that you are reviewing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each training program provides unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal 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 monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Frankfort IL.
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