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

How to Choose a Welding Degree Program near Bolingbrook Illinois

Bolingbrook IL welding school studentEnrolling in the right welder trade school near Bolingbrook IL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine 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 start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial considerations when evaluating welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Courses

Bolingbrook IL welder working on pipingThere are several options to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Bolingbrook 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 scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two 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 readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will need to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Bolingbrook IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Bolingbrook IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the type of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously stated, some 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 way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welding trade school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Trade School

Bolingbrook IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Bolingbrook IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before selecting a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Bolingbrook IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older 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 Bolingbrook IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might indicate 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 a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Bolingbrook IL contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Bolingbrook IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick needs to be within commuting distance of your Bolingbrook IL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, most 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. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Similarly, speak with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bolingbrook IL, make sure that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you pick 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 emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bolingbrook IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bolingbrook 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.

Bolingbrook, Illinois

The village of Bolingbrook is a southwest suburb of Chicago that is partially in both Will and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2017 US Census, the population is 75,201[5]. It is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and the state's 2nd largest village.

According to the 2010 census Bolingbrook has a total area of 24.257 square miles (62.83 km2), of which 24.05 square miles (62.29 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.[7]

Interstate 55, locally the Stevenson Expressway, runs through the southern part of the village heading northeast toward Chicago and southwest toward Plainfield and Joliet. Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway (formerly the North-South Tollway), runs along the far east side of the village between New Lenox and Addison. Illinois Route 53, locally known as Bolingbrook Drive, runs north–south through the middle of the village.

Online Welding Schools

pipe welder at work in Bolingbrook ILWelding is truly a hands-on type of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Bolingbrook IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate 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. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Find the Right Welding Technical School Bolingbrook IL

Selecting the right welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welder school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Bolingbrook IL.

 

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