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

How to Enroll In a Welder Certification Program near Antioch Illinois

Antioch IL welding school studentEnrolling in the right welder trade school near Antioch IL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the best one? Many prospective students begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs

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

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide 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 offers 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 requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. As required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Options

Antioch IL welder working on poleThere are various institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Antioch IL employers not only require 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 upon the kind of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welder Tech School

Antioch IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welder trade and technical schools in the Antioch IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder tech school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify 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 agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable in Antioch IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement 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 establish associations within the Antioch IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you select has a high completion rate. A lower rate may signify that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Antioch IL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Antioch IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to relocate, the welding program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Antioch IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Antioch IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Antioch IL?

Perhaps you live in the Antioch 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.

Antioch, Illinois

The Pottawatomi Indian Tribe, semi-nomadic hunters who lived in wigwams, inhabited Antioch when white men began to arrive. They fought with the British in the War of 1812 and then with the American settlers in the Blackhawk War of 1832. It was in 1832 that the American Indians began to leave the area, although arrowheads and other remnants of their history can still be found today if one knows where to look. The winding Highway 173 was once an Indian trail and Highway 83 was the Muquonago Trail.[5]

The first permanent white settlement in Antioch was the Gage Brothers' cabin on Sequoit Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. In 1839, Hiram Buttrick built a sawmill along the creek, making Antioch a center of commerce. A replica of the mill has been built a few hundred feet downstream from where it once stood.[5]

The influence of the Gage brothers is important when trying to understand the history and names of the Antioch area, as many local businesses, as well as ACHS sports teams, bear the word "Sequoit." There is no Native American tribe named "Sequoit" or any Native American word for that matter stemming from Antioch's Pottawatomi inhabitants. Though the word "sequoit" has Native American origins, the story behind the name is as complicated as it is historically interesting. Fred Willman explains in his in-depth book examining Illinois high school nicknames, "Why Mascots Have Tales", "The word Sequoit is a form of spelling of the Iroquois Indian word Sa-da-quoit, which was the name the Iroquois Indians gave to a stream that flows through Oneida County in New York state. In the Iroquois language, Sa-da-quoit literally means ‘smooth pebbles in the bed of a stream.’ When white settlers moved into Oneida County, they modified the spelling and pronunciation of the stream to Sequoit Creek." This was later transplanted and modified when the Gage brothers moved from New York State to northern Illinois.

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Antioch ILWelding is truly a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Antioch IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Best Welding Technical School Antioch IL

Selecting the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Antioch IL.

 

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