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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Class near Bismarck Illinois

Bismarck IL welding school studentChoosing the ideal welder vocational school near Bismarck IL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when evaluating welding technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise 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

Bismarck IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Bismarck IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you pick should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Options

Bismarck IL welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Bismarck IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of 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

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

As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you choose preps you for certification if needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Vocational School

Bismarck IL welder working on carOnce you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Bismarck IL area. That’s why it’s necessary 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 tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Bismarck IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Bismarck IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s essential that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower 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 an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Bismarck IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained 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. If not, ask a local Bismarck IL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Bismarck IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with several of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk to some of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bismarck IL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bismarck IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bismarck 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.

Bismarck, Illinois

The original settlement in this immediate area was to the west of Bismarck's location, where the Hubbard Trail and the North Fork of the Vermilion River crossed. It was originally called Franklin when it was founded in 1837, but it lasted only a few years. Later, in 1843, Brothers John and Samuel Myers built a mill near the site of Franklin, and a town called Myersville later grew up there.

In 1872, the C&EI Railroad went through the area; the tracks did not go through Myersville, but passed one and a half miles to the east. Gradually, the town moved toward the railroad on land donated by Charles S. Young and Dr. John B. Holloway. Young named the town Bismarck after the German statesman and chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who he so admired.[4]

On September 13, 1997, the community celebrated its 125th birthday. Festivities, which were attended by about 2,000 people, included a parade, contests, historical exhibits at the local grade school, and multiple performances.

Online Welding Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Bismarck ILWelding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and consequently not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by various community colleges and technical schools in the greater Bismarck IL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Right Welding Trade School Bismarck 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 factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every 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 speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Bismarck IL.

 

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