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

How to Choose a Welding Certificate Program near Canton Illinois

Canton IL welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welder school near Canton IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, 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 residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when reviewing welder trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors 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 prudent to establish 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 Courses

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

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned primarily to develop 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 provides a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Choices

Canton IL welder working on poleThere are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Canton IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some 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 specific kinds of welds
  • Perform based on contract specifications

As previously stated, various states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make certain that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Vocational School

Canton IL welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you probably know, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Canton IL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding technical school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic 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 example Welding Technology. So confirm 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 organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Canton IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other 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 referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Canton IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Canton IL contacts to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. 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. If not, ask a local Canton IL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to cover. You should remember that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Canton IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder diploma programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding programs you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Many people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Canton IL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Canton IL?

Perhaps you live in the Canton 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.

Canton, Illinois

Canton is the largest city in Fulton County, Illinois, United States. The population was 14,704 at the 2010 census,[6] down from 15,288 as of the 2000 census. The Canton Micropolitan Statistical Area covers all of Fulton County; it is in turn part of the wider Peoria-Canton, IL Combined Statistical Area (CSA).

Canton is located in northeastern Fulton County at 40°33′28″N 90°02′03″W / 40.557737°N 90.034264°W / 40.557737; -90.034264.[7] Illinois Routes 9 and 78 pass through the downtown together. IL 9 leads east 8 miles (13 km) to Banner near the Illinois River and west 27 miles (43 km) to Bushnell, while IL 78 leads north 10 miles (16 km) to Farmington and south 11 miles (18 km) to Little America in the Illinois River valley.

According to the 2010 census, Canton has a total area of 8.063 square miles (20.88 km2), of which 7.9 square miles (20.46 km2) (or 97.98%) is land and 0.163 square miles (0.42 km2) (or 2.02%) is water.[8]

Online Welder Training

pipe welder at work in Canton ILWelding is truly a manual type of vocation, and consequently not extremely suitable for online training. Even so, there are some online welding courses offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Canton IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important 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 experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Pick the Best Welding Vocational School Canton IL

Picking the right welder training program will probably be the most critical 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 among the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Probably the best way to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Invest some time to sit in on some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Canton IL.

 

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