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

How to Select a Welding Certification Class near Bourbonnais Illinois

Bourbonnais IL welding school studentSelecting the right welder trade school near Bourbonnais IL is an essential first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important considerations when evaluating welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs

Bourbonnais IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of alternatives available to get 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 degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Bourbonnais IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, created mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Bourbonnais IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Bourbonnais IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with specific kinds of welds
  • Work according to contract specifications

As formerly stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you decide on prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Vocational Program

Bourbonnais IL welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Bourbonnais IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered two important ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation can also help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Bourbonnais IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder certificate or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the Bourbonnais IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welder program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Bourbonnais IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your selection of welder programs to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Bourbonnais IL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you select must be within driving distance of your Bourbonnais IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend 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 feedback. Similarly, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bourbonnais IL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bourbonnais IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bourbonnais 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.

Bourbonnais, Illinois

Bourbonnais (pronounced /bʊərboʊˈneɪ/ or /bɜːrˈboʊnɪs/[4]) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,256 in the 2000 census, but had grown to 18,631 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Kankakee-Bourbonnais-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The village is named after François Bourbonnais, Sr., a fur trapper, hunter and agent of the American Fur Company, who had married a Native American woman and arrived in the area near the fork of two major Indian trails and the Kankakee River circa 1830.[5]John Jacob Astor had founded the company in 1808, and when the United States banned foreign (i.e. British and Canadian companies such as the Hudson's Bay Company) from competing in the country after the War of 1812, it grew. By 1830, it had a near monopoly of fur trading in the midwest, but the number of local trappable wild animals had declined.

In 1832, Noel Le Vasseur arrived as the Astor firm local fur trading agent, establishing a trading post in the area, and becoming the first permanent non-Native American settler. He married Watseka, niece of a Potawatomi chieftain, and after the Potawatomi were relocated to Iowa, recruited French-Canadiens to settle around his store.[6] The Potawatomi were forced to move westward by a series of treaties culminating in the Treaty of Tippecanoe, which Congress ratified in 1833. The treaty reserved two sections for Potawanomi chief Me-she-ke-te-no, and one section each for Catish (Mrs. Bourbonnais, Sr.) and Manteno (daughter of Francois Bourbonnais, Jr.).[5] LeVasseur received considerable land through a series of shrewd trades, and eventually divorced Watseka and married a Canadian woman named Ruth.[7] After establishment of the new Catholic diocese of Chicago missionary Fr. Stephen Badin briefly settled in Bourbonnais Grove in 1846, before retiring further south.

Online Welder Classes

pipe welder at work in Bourbonnais ILWelding is truly a manual kind of profession, and therefore not very suitable for online training. Even so, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Bourbonnais IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want 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 careful and make sure that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Right Welding Vocational School Bourbonnais IL

Selecting the ideal welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program provides different options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour 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, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Bourbonnais IL.

 

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