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

How to Find the Right Welder Trade School near Aurora Illinois

Aurora IL welding school studentChoosing the right welder school near Aurora IL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting 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 talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses

Aurora IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Below are short explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Aurora IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Aurora IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Aurora IL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills 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 already mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make sure that the welder trade school you select prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welding Trade Program

Aurora IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder trade and vocational schools in the Aurora IL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to evaluate before choosing a welder vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 basic kinds 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. Additionally, 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). Besides helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Aurora IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the Aurora IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Aurora IL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Aurora IL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can move, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Aurora IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement 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 ultimately will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a couple of the instructors 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. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Aurora IL, make certain that the schools you are looking at provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Aurora IL?

Perhaps you live in the Aurora 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.

Aurora, Illinois

Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, is a city predominantly in Kane County and DuPage County, with portions extending into Kendall and Will counties. It is in the outer region of Chicago metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the second most populous city in the state,[5] and the 114th most populous city in the country.[6] The population was 197,899 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to have increased to 199,963 by July 2013.[7]

Once a mid-sized manufacturing city, Aurora has grown tremendously since the 1960s. Founded within Kane County, Aurora's city limits and population have expanded into DuPage, Will, and Kendall counties. Between 2000 and 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Aurora as the 34th fastest-growing city in the United States.[8] From 2000 to 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked the city as the 46th fastest growing city with a population of over 100,000.[9]

In 1908, Aurora adopted the nickname "City of Lights", because in 1881 it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system.[10] Aurora's historic downtown is located on the Fox River, and centered on Stolp Island. The city is divided into three regions, the West Side, on the west side of the Fox River, the East Side, between the eastern bank of the Fox River and the Kane/DuPage County line, and the Far East Side/Fox Valley, which is from the County Line to the city's eastern border with Naperville.

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Aurora ILWelding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are a small number of online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Aurora IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. 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 performed 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 possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Best Welding Vocational Program Aurora IL

Choosing the ideal welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are several things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Aurora IL.

 

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