How to Enroll In the Right Welding Certification Class near Galena Illinois
Finding the right welding school near Galena 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Many people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when evaluating welder 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 trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Programs
There are several options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most common welding programs offered in the Galena IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created primarily 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 two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers 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 requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.
Welding Certification Options
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Galena IL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate in compliance with contract specifications
As already mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for different types 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, check the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welding technical school you select readies you for certification as needed.
Subjects to Ask Welding Trade Schools
After you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Galena IL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard 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 verify 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 agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Galena IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Galena IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Galena IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure 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 Galena IL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Galena IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than 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 desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, talk to a couple of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Galena IL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Galena IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner 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 until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that would like 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 very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
Attending a Welding School in Galena IL?
If you have decided to enroll in a welder training program in the Galena Illinois area, you may find the following information both informative and helpful about the location of your new school campus.
Galena is the largest city in and the county seat of Jo Daviess County, Illinois, with a population of 3,429 at the 2010 census. A 581-acre (235 ha) section of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Galena Historic District. The city is named for the mineral galena, which was mined by Native Americans in the area for over a thousand years. Owing to these deposits, Galena was the site of the first major mineral rush in the United States. By 1828, the population was estimated at 10,000, rivaling the population of Chicago at the time. The city emerged as the largest steamboat hub on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. Galena was the home of Ulysses S. Grant and eight other Civil War generals. Today, the city is a tourist destination known for its history, architecture, and resorts.
The city is named for galena, the natural form of lead sulfide (PbS) and the most important lead ore.Native Americans mined the ore for use in burial rituals. The Havana Hopewell first traded galena in the area during the Middle Woodland period (c. 1–400 CE). However, the use of galena in the Havana territory is uncertain; very little has been identified in burial mounds. During the Mississippian period (900–1500 CE), galena saw use as body paint.
The French, probably via contact with the Sioux, first noted lead deposits in the Upper Mississippi Valley in 1658. A 1703 French map identified the northwestern Illinois area as mines de plumb. Northwestern Illinois was inhabited by Sac and Fox when the French arrived. In the 1690s, French trappers discovered the area and began mining the lead. However, conflicts with the Sioux prevented large-scale mining until Julien Dubuque's Mines opened across the river in 1788.
Find the Best Welding Vocational School Galena IL
Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly 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 Welding Courses For Beginners. However, as we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among 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 smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Galena IL.