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

How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Cambridge Illinois

Cambridge IL welding school studentFinding the ideal welder trade school near Cambridge IL is an essential first step to launching 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a trade 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.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses

Cambridge IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in the Cambridge IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can provide 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 most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

Many municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Cambridge IL welder working on poleThere are various institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Cambridge IL employers not only demand a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder tech school you select preps you for certification if needed.

How to Decide on a Welding Trade Program

Cambridge IL welder working on carAfter you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Cambridge IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are some additional factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation may also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are often unavailable in Cambridge IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or certificate programs are provided 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 reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Cambridge IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s essential that the welder school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate might mean that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, 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 verify that the school has an excellent reputation within the trade, but also that it has the network of Cambridge IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using on the job. If you are not sure 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 Cambridge IL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you select must be within commuting distance of your Cambridge IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there may 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 offers 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 an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their evaluations. Also, talk with a couple of the trainers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still working at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Cambridge IL, verify that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Cambridge IL?

Perhaps you live in the Cambridge 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.

Cambridge, Illinois

Before 1843, the land where Cambridge is currently located was the private property of a man named Rev. Ithamar Pillsbury, who was very well known amongst the Yankee settlers (migrants from New England and upstate New York who were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s) who were moving to Henry County in large numbers at that time. Reverend Pillsbury deeded a large portion of his land to the town council and they immediately agreed it was a good place to lay out a town. Lots were sold to incoming migrants and on June 9 of 1843 (after some quarreling among the town founders about how to finance it) construction began on the town. Roads were laid out, post routes established, public buildings erected and people were invited to move there. The original settlers were entirely of New England origins or were Yankees from upstate New York whose families had moved to that place from New England only one generation earlier, in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War. This resulted in Henry County being culturally very contiguous with early New England culture.[5][6]

According to the 2010 census, Cambridge has a total area of 2.154 square miles (5.58 km2), of which 2.14 square miles (5.54 km2) (or 99.35%) is land and 0.014 square miles (0.04 km2) (or 0.65%) is water.[7]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 2,180 people, 856 households, and 595 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,540.2 people per square mile (592.7/km²). There were 896 housing units at an average density of 633.0 per square mile (243.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.17% White, 0.78% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.46% of the population.

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Cambridge ILWelding is truly a manual type of profession, and for that reason not extremely suitable for online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Cambridge IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use 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 better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Right Welding Trade Program Cambridge IL

Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification as well. Probably The ideal approach to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Cambridge IL.

 

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