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

How to Select a Welding Technical School near Calhoun Illinois

Calhoun IL welding school studentChoosing the right welding vocational school near Calhoun IL is an important first step to beginning 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 select the best one? Many prospective students start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training Classes

Calhoun IL welder working on pipingThere are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs available in the Calhoun IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed 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 two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Calhoun IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Calhoun IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for different types 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 make certain that the welding vocational school you choose readies you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welder Trade School

Calhoun IL welder working on carAfter you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welding trade and vocational schools in the Calhoun IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that most people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder vocational school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like 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 assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable in Calhoun IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welding certificate or degree programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Calhoun IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you select has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of Calhoun IL contacts to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect 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 using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Calhoun 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 points that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Calhoun IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much personalized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder programs you are considering. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a few of the teachers and find out 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 employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calhoun IL, make certain that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Calhoun IL?

Perhaps you live in the Calhoun 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.

Calhoun County, Illinois

Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,089,[1] making it Illinois’ third-least populous county. Its county seat and biggest community is Hardin, with a population of slightly less than 1,000.[2] Its smallest community is Hamburg, with a population of 123. Calhoun County is at the tip of the peninsula formed by the courses of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers above their confluence and is almost completely surrounded by water. Calhoun County is sparsely populated; it has just five municipalities, all of them villages.[3]

The territory was originally settled by indigenous people who occupied the resource-rich river valleys near waterways. The remains of their occupation have provided some of the most valuable archaeological information in the country. The county's archaeological record chronicles more than 10,000 years of continuous human occupation by Native Americans.

Calhoun County was settled by Americans during the 19th century, and officially organized in 1825. It was named for Vice President John C. Calhoun, in addition to the Calhoun family that was prominent in the area at the time. The southern side of the county, covered in thick forest, was untouched until the population began to expand in the late 1840s with the arrival of German immigrants. Land was cleared for farming, exporting lumber, and constructing spacious log barns, typically 200 square feet (19 m2) in size, which were a "trademark of successful German farmers."[4]

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Calhoun ILWelding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Calhoun IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to initiate their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Ideal Welding Tech School Calhoun IL

Picking the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed 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 prerequisite that any welding training that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers unique possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you select is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Calhoun IL.

 

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