Welding Schools Near Me | How to Become a Welder – Aledo IL

How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Aledo Illinois

Aledo IL welding school studentSelecting the ideal welder trade school near Aledo IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the best one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when examining welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes

Aledo IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the Aledo IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Aledo IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Aledo IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree 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 on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Work according to contract specifications

As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welding Trade School

Aledo IL welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Aledo IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most 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 need to be considered. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. 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 example Welding Technology. So make sure 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Aledo 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 degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Aledo IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Aledo IL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welder programs 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 trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Aledo 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 couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Aledo IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding diploma 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. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession 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 in the evenings or on weekends near Aledo IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Aledo IL?

Perhaps you live in the Aledo Illinois area, or have decided to enroll in a Welding Program that has a campus near there.  In either case, you may find this bit of history both interesting and informative.

Aledo, Illinois

Aledo /ʌˈliːdoʊ/ (u-LEE-doh) is a city in Mercer County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,640 at the 2010 census, up from 3,613 in 2000.[6][7] It is the county seat of Mercer County.[8]

According to the 2010 census, Aledo has a total area of 2.392 square miles (6.20 km2), of which 2.38 square miles (6.16 km2) (or 99.5%) is land and 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.5%) is water.[12]

As of the census[14] of 2010, there were 3,640 people, 1,568 households, and 947 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% (3,586) white; 0.6% (22) African American; 0.0% (1) Native American; 0.3% (12) Asian; 0.1% (4) from other races; and 0.4% (15) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% (45) of the population.

Online Welding Training

pipe welder at work in Aledo ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Aledo IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle 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 would like to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Technical School Aledo IL

Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Aledo IL.

 

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