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

How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Clay City Illinois

Clay City IL welding school studentSelecting the right welding school near Clay City IL is an important first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your alternatives, how do you pick the best one? Most people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. Once they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses

Clay City IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can earn 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 offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Clay City IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Some municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If required, the welder school you select should ready 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 Options

Clay City IL welder working on poleThere are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Clay City IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As earlier mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose readies you for certification if needed.

How to Select a Welding Tech School

Clay City IL welder working on carAfter you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder trade and vocational schools in the Clay City IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered 2 important 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 need to be looked at. After all, the school you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So following are more factors you may want to consider before selecting a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welder vocational school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not available in Clay City IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist 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 place their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Clay City IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who joined the program were dissatisfied with the training, 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 school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Clay City IL employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding programs to two or three options, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using in the field. 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 Clay City IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose must be within commuting distance of your Clay City IL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder diploma 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 local community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. Personalized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, talk to a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Clay City IL, make sure that the schools you are reviewing offer those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Clay City IL?

Perhaps you live in the Clay 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.

Clay City, Illinois

Clay City is located in southeastern Clay County at 38°41′13″N 88°21′11″W / 38.68694°N 88.35306°W / 38.68694; -88.35306 (38.686883, -88.353121),[5] about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of the Little Wabash River. U.S. Route 50 passes through the southern side of the village, leading west 7 miles (11 km) to Flora and east 15 miles (24 km) to Olney. Louisville, the Clay County seat, is 14 miles (23 km) to the northwest.

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,000 people, 436 households, and 262 families residing in the village. The population density was 561.0 people per square mile (216.9/km²). There were 486 housing units at an average density of 272.7 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.40% White, 0.20% Native American, 0.10% Asian, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.

There were 436 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.98.

Online Welding Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Clay City ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and consequently not very compatible with online training. However, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Clay City IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a basis to start 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. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely careful and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Right Welding Technical Program Clay City IL

Picking the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder school that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program offers unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some 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 commitment, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Clay City IL.

 

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