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

How to Select a Welder Training Program near Bethalto Illinois

Bethalto IL welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding vocational school near Bethalto IL is an important first step to starting 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 importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when examining welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to develop 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.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Bethalto IL welder working on pipingThere are several options available to get 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 offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, 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 brief explanations of the most common welding programs available in the Bethalto IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are normally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welder school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Bethalto IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Bethalto IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding tech school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Vocational Program

Bethalto IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Bethalto IL area. That’s why it’s important to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you choose 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 picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you pick 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 an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Bethalto IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools must 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Bethalto IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who joined 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 confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Bethalto IL contacts to assist students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Bethalto IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within driving distance of your Bethalto IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to some of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bethalto IL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bethalto IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bethalto 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.

Bethalto, Illinois

Bethalto is a village located in Madison County, Illinois, United States. Bethalto, like the rest of Madison County, is part of the Illinois Metro East portion of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The population of Bethalto was 9,521 at the 2010 census.[3]

According to the 2010 census, Bethalto has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.68 km2), of which 7.52 square miles (19.48 km2) (or 98.95%) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 1.05%) is water.[5]

Bethalto was founded in 1834, incorporated April 19, 1869, under a special charter and again in 1873 under the State of Illinois' general law. It is governed by a Village President and six trustees elected at large.[6]

Online Welder Training

pipe welder at work in Bethalto ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Bethalto IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished 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 desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Choose the Right Welding Technical Program Bethalto IL

Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you pick is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Bethalto IL.

 

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