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

How to Select a Welder Certificate Program near Ashton Illinois

Ashton IL welding school studentFinding the right welding technical school near Ashton IL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many 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 pick the best one? Many people begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when reviewing welder technical 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 develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

Ashton IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs offered in the Ashton IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Ashton IL welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Ashton IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Operate in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with certain metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain types of welds
  • Perform based on contract specifications

As formerly stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder trade school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Trade Program

Ashton IL welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Ashton IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for instance 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 recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Ashton IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Ashton IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Ashton IL employer relationships to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, 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. If not, ask a local Ashton IL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Ashton IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ashton IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Ashton IL?

Perhaps you live in the Ashton 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.

Ashton, Illinois

Ashton is located at 41°52′00″N 89°13′19″W / 41.866545°N 89.221923°W / 41.866545; -89.221923Coordinates: 41°52′00″N 89°13′19″W / 41.866545°N 89.221923°W / 41.866545; -89.221923.[4]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,142 people, 437 households, and 312 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,727.6 people per square mile (668.1/km²). There were 468 housing units at an average density of 708.0 per square mile (273.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.99% White, 1.05% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.35% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.36% of the population.

There were 423 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.98.

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Ashton ILWelding is truly a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Ashton IL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Right Welding Vocational School Ashton IL

Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new career. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Ashton IL.

 

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