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

How to Select a Welder Trade School near Colchester Illinois

Colchester IL welding school studentSelecting the right welding vocational school near Colchester IL is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary concerns when reviewing welding 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 wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Programs

Colchester IL welder working on pipingThere are a number of options to get training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Colchester IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental 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 extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies 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 future employment. If needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Options

Colchester IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Colchester IL employers not only expect a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number additionally require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you select prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welder Technical Program

Colchester IL welder working on carAs soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Colchester IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish in advance what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you might need to consider before picking a welder technical school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard types 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, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Colchester IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Many welding degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships 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 utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the Colchester IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Colchester IL employer relationships to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider 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, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Colchester IL welding professional if they can give you a few pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to deal with. You should remember that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select must be within commuting distance of your Colchester IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you ultimately will want to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one training. Ask what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak 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.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Colchester IL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Colchester IL?

Perhaps you live in the Colchester 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.

Colchester, Illinois

According to the North American Stratigraphic Code, rock units were given names that included the geographic name of a location where the rock unit was first described. If the rock unit consisted of a dominant rock type, the rock type was included in the name. In this case, when coal was first discovered and described in Colchester, Illinois, the rock unit was named "Colchester Coal". When this particular coal unit was encountered in a different location, the coal was correctly identified as Colchester Coal.[6]

The mines in Colchester attracted immigrants from Pennsylvania. At first these included the descendants of Irish Protestant refugees from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Later they were joined by Irish Catholic refugees from the Irish Potato Famine.

During the 1920s, Colchester was the home of Henry "Kelly" Wagle, a bootlegger associated with Al Capone. Wagle was involved in the production of alcohol and its transportation between Chicago and Kansas City.[5]

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Colchester ILWelding is truly a manual type of profession, and consequently not very suitable for training online. However, there are some online welding classes offered by specific community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Colchester IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished 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 possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Technical Program Colchester IL

Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Training programs differ in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the teachers and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Colchester IL.

 

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