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

How to Choose a Welder Degree Program near Bellflower Illinois

Bellflower IL welding school studentChoosing the right welding vocational school near Bellflower IL is an essential first step to launching your new career 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 fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Bellflower IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Bellflower IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Bellflower IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that provide welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Bellflower IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. 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 specific types of welds
  • Work based on contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.

How to Choose a Welder Tech School

Bellflower IL welder working on carOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and technical schools in the Bellflower IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Bellflower IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Bellflower IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Bellflower IL employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Bellflower IL welding professional if they can give you some tips.

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 bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Bellflower IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can observe how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bellflower IL, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bellflower IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bellflower 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.

Bellflower, Illinois

Bellflower was laid out on 26 August 1871 by George Nelson Black (15 March 1833 – 22 April 1908) and his wife Louisa J. Black (22 December 1840 – 23 December 1909). George was born in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and had come to Springfield, Illinois in 1850 where he became wealthy through manufacturing, mining, and railroads.[5] Bellflower Township had subscribed $30,000 in twenty-year bonds toward the construction of what was then called the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railroad. A condition of the funding was that the township would have a station on the railroad. Black purchased 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land, laid 40 acres (160,000 m2) out into town lots and then transferred the title to the Railroad. When the railroad became property of the Illinois Central Railroad, town lots in Bellflower were not transferred to that railroad. The name of the town came from the name of the township and was selected by Jesse Richards, who was particularly fond of the Bellflower apple. It is perhaps the only town in Illinois named for an apple. In the 1870s it was often spelled Belle Flower or Belle-Flower.[6]

The original plan of the town consisted of two square blocks of land. Most of the western square was divided into sixteen blocks, each usually containing twelve lots, and this part of the town was split diagonally by the 100-foot-wide (30 m) path of the railroad. Unlike many towns found in the 1870s, there was no Depot Ground. The eastern square of land and a strip along the north edge of the western square was divided into out lots, each of which were several times the size the lots in the western square. The combination of in lots and out lots was fairly common in central Illinois and may be found, for example, at Hudson and Chenoa. The small triangle of landcut off by the railroad from the remainder of block ten became thelocation of the town jail. The station was located on the south side of the tracks and the two early elevatorswere on railroad land. By 1895 both in lots and out lots held residences.[7] R. E. Moreland established the first business. Bellflower quickly became a major grain shipping center serving the fertile surrounding land. By 1879 it was shipping over 350,000 bushels of grain a year.[8] In 1900 the population was 356 and it is only slightly larger today.

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 408 people, 162 households, and 117 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,118.1 people per square mile (437.6/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 468.6 per square mile (183.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 100.00% White.

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Bellflower ILWelding is very much a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Bellflower IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Right Welding Tech Program Bellflower IL

Picking the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. 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 prerequisite that any welding training program that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you decide on is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Bellflower IL.

 

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