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

How to Select a Welding Certification Course near Atlanta Illinois

Atlanta IL welding school studentLocating the ideal welding vocational school near Atlanta IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training

Atlanta IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of options to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Atlanta IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma 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 don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Atlanta IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Atlanta IL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with various types of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

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

How to Decide on a Welder Tech School

Atlanta IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Atlanta IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds 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 choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, 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). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Atlanta 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.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Atlanta IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Atlanta IL employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting 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. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Atlanta IL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welding program you select must be within driving distance of your Atlanta IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their current job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Atlanta IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Atlanta IL?

Perhaps you live in the Atlanta 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.

Atlanta, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Atlanta has a total area of 1.268 square miles (3.28 km2), of which 1.26 square miles (3.26 km2) (or 99.37%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.63%) is water.[5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 1,649 people, 694 households, and 469 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,310 people per square mile (505/km²). There were 734 housing units at an average density of 583.3 per square mile (224.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.58% White, 0.12% Native American, 0.12% from other races, and 0.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.

There were 694 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.4% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in Atlanta ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Atlanta IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with 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 seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Ideal Welding Vocational Program Atlanta IL

Picking the best welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education 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 duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you decide on is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Atlanta IL.

 

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