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

How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Blue Mound Illinois

Blue Mound IL welding school studentFinding the ideal welder school near Blue Mound IL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when reviewing welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to develop 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 Certificate and Degree Training Classes

Blue Mound IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical 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 combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most typical welding programs available in the Blue Mound IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach 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 provides a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Options

Blue Mound IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Blue Mound IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on 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 specific metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain kinds of welds
  • Operate according to contract specifications

As already stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove 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 welding tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welding Trade School

Blue Mound IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Blue Mound IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to consider before picking a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Blue Mound IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship 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 upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older 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 Blue Mound IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A higher 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 Blue Mound IL employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are unsure 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 Blue Mound IL welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should bear in mind that unless you can move, the welding school you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Blue Mound IL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Blue Mound IL, verify that the schools you are assessing provide those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make certain 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, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Blue Mound IL?

Perhaps you live in the Blue Mound 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.

Blue Mound, Illinois

Blue Mound is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,129 at the 2000 census, and 1,017 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

One and a half miles north west of the village is located a glacial kame, a cone-shaped gravel hill rising 80 feet above the surrounding farm land. Surrounded by the Griswold Conservation Area, park and camping place, the mound is estimated to date from about 130,000 years ago in geologic time from melting of glacier ice. It is one of a group of glacial mounds in the Blue Mound area.[5]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 1,129 people, 459 households, and 329 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,898.9 people per square mile (738.8/km²). There were 483 housing units at an average density of 812.4 per square mile (316.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.65% White, 0.18% Native American, 0.09% from other races, and 0.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.27% of the population.

Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in Blue Mound ILWelding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not extremely suitable for training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Blue Mound IL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across 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 Best Welding Tech Program Blue Mound IL

Selecting the ideal welder school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world perspective, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best serve your needs. Each program provides different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Blue Mound IL.

 

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