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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Bellwood Illinois

Bellwood IL welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding trade school near Bellwood IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses

Bellwood IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available 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 Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief summaries of the most common welding programs available in the Bellwood IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily 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 two years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Options

Bellwood IL welder working on poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Bellwood IL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements 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 qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Tech School

Bellwood IL welder working on carAs soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Bellwood IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at 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 program you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive 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 itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in securing financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Bellwood 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 as well.

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 upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must have relationships 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Bellwood IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Bellwood IL employer relationships to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Bellwood IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you choose must be within driving distance of your Bellwood IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, apart from moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 ultimately will wish to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in larger classes and not receive much individualized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bellwood IL, verify that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bellwood IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bellwood 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.

Bellwood, Illinois

Bellwood is a village in Proviso Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. Located 13 miles (21 km) west of Chicago's downtown Loop, the Village of Bellwood is bounded by the Eisenhower Expressway (south), the Proviso yards of the former Chicago & Northwestern, now Union Pacific Railroad (north), and the suburbs of Maywood (east) and Hillside and Berkeley (west). The population was 19,071 at the 2010 census.[4]

As of the census[9] of 2010, there were 19,071 people, 6,440 households, and 5,100 families residing in the village. The population density was 8,608.0 people per square mile (3,317.4/km²). There were 6,683 housing units at an average density of 2,801.4 per square mile (1,079.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 11.75% White, 81.73% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 3.79% from other races, and 1.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.94% of the population.

There were 6,440 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 25.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.8% were non-families. 17.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18 and the average family size was 3.57.

Online Welding Classes

pipe welder at work in Bellwood ILWelding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Bellwood IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice 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 unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Find the Right Welding Technical School Bellwood IL

Choosing the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each training program provides different options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Bellwood IL.

 

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