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

How to Pick a Welder Certification Program near Calumet City Illinois

Calumet City IL welding school studentLocating the ideal welding school near Calumet City IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating welding technical 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 vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected 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 Classes

Calumet City 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 offered 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. Below are short descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in the Calumet City IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to develop 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 2 years to finish and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If needed, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Calumet City IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Calumet City IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain kinds of welds
  • Perform in compliance with contract specifications

As formerly stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements 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 an extremely skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welding technical school you select preps you for certification if needed.

How to Pick a Welder Technical Program

Calumet City IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to earn, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welding trade and vocational schools in the Calumet City IL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two 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 has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Calumet City IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding diploma or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. 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 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 develop associations within the Calumet City IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. 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 also that it has the network of Calumet City IL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable 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, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Calumet City IL welding professional if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within commuting distance of your Calumet City IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder degree programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, 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. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calumet City IL, verify that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make certain that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Calumet City IL?

Perhaps you live in the Calumet City 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.

Calumet City, Illinois

Calumet City (commonly referred to locally as "Cal City") was founded in 1893 when the villages of Schrumville and Sobieski Park merged under the name of West Hammond, since it lies on the west side of the Illinois-Indiana line from Hammond, Indiana.[1] In 1924, West Hammond officially became Calumet City after its citizens voted to change the name in 1923.[2][3]

According to the 2010 census, Calumet City has a total area of 7.314 square miles (18.94 km2), of which 7.19 square miles (18.62 km2) (or 98.3%) is land and 0.124 square miles (0.32 km2) (or 1.7%) is water.[10]

As of the 2010 census,[12] there were 37,042 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 20.4% White, 71.9% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 8.1% from other races, with 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.0% of the population, including 13.4% of Mexican descent.

Online Welder Courses

pipe welder at work in Calumet City ILWelding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Calumet City IL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a basis to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Best Welding Technical School Calumet City IL

Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a must that any welding training program that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each training program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you pick is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Calumet City IL.

 

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