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

How to Find the Right Welding Certification Class near Bradley Illinois

Bradley IL welding school studentSelecting the right welding trade school near Bradley IL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you select the best one? A number of people begin 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 expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are important concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation 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 selected school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training

Bradley IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple options to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Bradley IL.

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

Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore make sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Bradley IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welding certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Bradley IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. 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 certain types of welds
  • Perform based on contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding tech school you select readies you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Technical School

Bradley IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welder trade and vocational schools in the Bradley IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Bradley IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Bradley IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s crucial that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Bradley IL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three options, you should think out going to 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 similar to what you will be working with 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 Bradley IL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Bradley IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding diploma programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bradley IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Bradley IL?

Perhaps you live in the Bradley 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.

Bradley, Illinois

Bradley (formerly North Kankakee) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. It is a suburb of the City of Kankakee. The population was 12,784 at the 2000 census, 15,070 in 2009, and 15,871 in 2012.

Bradley is a principal city of the Kankakee–Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Kankakee County. The county is also part of the larger Chicago–Naperville–Michigan City, IL-IN-WI Combined Statistical Area.

In 1891, North Kankakee was established when the David Bradley Plow Works established a factory, and in recognition of this, in 1895, the town changed its name to Bradley City (later Bradley). Bradley was mostly a blue collar town with the Kroehler Furniture factory and the Roper Corporation factory (maker of kitchen ranges and ovens; part of their operations were in the building that David Bradley once occupied) being the major employers. In the 1980s, as with the rest of the Midwest, these factories closed, and after their closures, parts of those factories burned to the ground. However, by the end of the decade, things changed. In 1989, a new shopping center called Bradley Square was built with Wal-Mart as the first tenant, and more shops followed. The brightest spot in the village's history came on August 1, 1990, when Northfield Square Mall opened. Bradley was poised to attract business. Since that time, the village has been growing. Now, many businesses inhabit the area.

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Bradley ILWelding is truly a manual type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Bradley IL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed 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 would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Choose the Best Welding Technical School Bradley IL

Choosing the right welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder school that you are reviewing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers different options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you decide on is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Bradley IL.

 

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