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

How to Enroll In a Welder Training Program near Crystal Lake Illinois

Crystal Lake IL welding school studentSelecting the right welding vocational school near Crystal Lake 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 significantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Most prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within driving distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important considerations when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 sensible to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Classes

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

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, created largely to teach 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 complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

Many states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore don’t forget to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should ready you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.

Welder Certification Options

Crystal Lake IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Crystal Lake IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Decide on a Welder Trade Program

Crystal Lake IL welder working on carAfter you have decided on the credential you want to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Crystal Lake IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered two significant ones that many people look at 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 looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to evaluate before selecting a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding trade school you pick 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 a specific program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation can also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Crystal Lake IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are provided in conjunction 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. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and various 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 referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Crystal Lake IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and complete it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Crystal Lake IL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have limited your selection of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are unsure what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Crystal Lake IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welder school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Crystal Lake IL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, 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 needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Crystal Lake IL, confirm that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Crystal Lake IL?

Perhaps you live in the Crystal Lake 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.

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Crystal Lake is a city in McHenry County in the U.S. state of Illinois. Named after a lake 1.6 miles (2.6 km) southwest of the city's downtown, Crystal Lake is 45 miles northwest of Chicago.[4] The population was 40,743 in 2010.[5] Crystal Lake is the largest city in McHenry County, part of the Chicago metropolitan area.[6]

The City of Crystal Lake traces its origin to two separate communities which were established in the 1800s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake. In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley had come to the shores of the lake and commented that the "waters were as clear as crystal", thereby giving the lake its name. Ziba Beardsley continued south to Naperville. In February 1836, the first white settlers, Beman and Polly Crandall and six of their ten children, came from New York State traveling to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. Their original cabin was built in the vicinity of today's intersection of Virginia Street and Van Buren Street. Four of the Crandall children were born there. Najah Beardsley's family was the second to settle in the area; his grandson, William Beardsley, was the first white child born on the Crystal Lake prairie, on May 7, 1837.[7]

The town was first known as Crystal Ville. It was changed to Crystal Lake sometime before 1840. The area known today as downtown Crystal Lake was first called Dearborn and later, Nunda, from an area in New York where many settlers originated. The village of Dearborn was founded in the 1850s after an extension of railroads through the area. The first train station was built in 1856, although it was pre-fabricated and shipped from Chicago on a flatcar. At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of the railroad station. The railroad served to connect both the people and industries of Crystal Lake and Dearborn to Chicago and the rest of the country. Dearborn grew quickly due to this new rail connection.[citation needed]

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Crystal Lake ILWelding is very much a manual type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Crystal Lake IL area that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and make certain that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Best Welding Vocational Program Crystal Lake IL

Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to begin your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education should offer a real-world context, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal 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 a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final result will be a new trade as a professional welder in Crystal Lake IL.

 

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