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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Program near Ashley Illinois

Ashley IL welding school studentFinding the right welding trade school near Ashley IL is an essential first step to beginning 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 right one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important issues when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

Ashley IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to get 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Ashley IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created mainly 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 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Ashley IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Ashley IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things 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 types of welds
  • Work in compliance with contract specifications

As already mentioned, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welder tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welder Trade Program

Ashley IL welder working on carAfter you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Ashley IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Ashley IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools must have partnerships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Ashley IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Ashley IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. 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. If not, ask a local Ashley IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Ashley IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk to a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ashley IL, confirm that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Ashley IL?

Perhaps you live in the Ashley 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.

Ashley, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Ashley has a total area of 1.122 square miles (2.91 km2), of which 1.1 square miles (2.85 km2) (or 98.04%) is land and 0.022 square miles (0.06 km2) (or 1.96%) is water.[6]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 613 people, 245 households, and 160 families residing in the city. The population density was 553.6 people per square mile (213.2/km²). There were 274 housing units at an average density of 247.5 per square mile (95.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.21% White, 0.16% African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.49% from other races, and 0.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.

There were 245 households out of which 34.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 29.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.12.

Online Welding Classes

pipe welder at work in Ashley ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Ashley IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously 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 would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Technical Program Ashley IL

Picking the best welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a must that any welding school that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best means 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. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Ashley IL.

 

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