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

How to Enroll In a Welder Training Class near Alexis Illinois

Alexis IL welding school studentLocating the right welder vocational school near Alexis IL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start 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 important considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational 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 Certificate and Degree Training

Alexis IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Alexis IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily 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 two years to complete 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 supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Alexis IL welder working on poleThere are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Alexis IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered dependent on the type 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 specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Perform according to contract specifications

As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Pick a Welding Vocational Program

Alexis IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and technical schools in the Alexis IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Alexis IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined 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 considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and various 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 assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Alexis IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Alexis IL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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. Otherwise, ask a local Alexis IL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Alexis IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Alexis IL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Alexis IL?

Perhaps you live in the Alexis 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.

Alexis, Illinois

The Warren County portion of Alexis is part of the Galesburg Micropolitan Statistical Area, while the Mercer County portion is part of the Davenport–Moline–Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Alexis was originally called Alexandria, and under the latter name was laid out in 1870 when the railroad was extended to that point.[4] After learning of another Illinois town named Alexander, the founders wanted a new name. Around this time, Grand Duke Alexis was visiting the country, after whom the town was renamed.[5]

The village is situated along the boundary between Warren and Mercer counties. In the 2000 census, 499 of Alexis' 863 residents (57.8%) lived in Warren County and 364 (42.2%) lived in Mercer County.[7]

Online Welding Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Alexis ILWelding is truly a manual kind of trade, and consequently not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Alexis IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Ideal Welding Technical School Alexis IL

Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some 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, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Alexis IL.

 

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