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

How to Find the Right Welding Certification Class near Danville Illinois

Danville IL welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding technical school near Danville IL is an essential first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the best one? Most prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary considerations when examining welding vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s prudent to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

Danville IL welder working on pipingThere are several options available to obtain 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 offered 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. Below are brief summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in the Danville IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by trade and technical schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to develop welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing examinations that you will have to take in addition to supplying the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Danville IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Danville IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. Just some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly mentioned, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate 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 sure that the welding trade school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welder Technical Program

Danville IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Danville IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered a couple of important ones that many people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are some additional factors you may need to consider before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single 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, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not offered in Danville IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place 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 assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Danville IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welding school you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy 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 affirm that the school has a good reputation within the field, but also that it has the network of Danville IL employer relationships to help students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Danville IL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Danville IL home. If you do decide to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides a job placement or apprenticeship program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school should 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 easy to get overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the welder schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can see how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Danville IL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, 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, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Danville IL?

Perhaps you live in the Danville 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.

Danville, Illinois

Danville was founded in 1827 on 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land donated by Guy W. Smith and 20 acres (81,000 m2) donated by Dan W. Beckwith.[6] The sale of lots was set for April 10, 1827 and advertised in newspapers in Indianapolis, Indiana and the state capital of Vandalia.[1] The first post office was established in May of the same year in the house of Amos Williams, organizer of Vermilion and Edgar Counties and a prominent Danville citizen. Williams and Beckwith drew up the first plat map; the city was named after Dan Beckwith at Williams' suggestion, although Beckwith suggested the names "Williamsburg" and "Williamstown". Beckwith was born in Pennsylvania in 1795 and moved to Indiana as a young man; in 1819 he accompanied the first white explorers to the area where Danville later existed because of his interest in the salt springs of the Vermilion River. He died in 1835 of pneumonia contracted on a horseback ride back from Washington; he was 40 years old.[7] Danville became a major industrial city in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. From the 1850s to the 1940s, Danville was an important coal mining area; some of the first open pit mining techniques were practiced here.[8] The coal formation underlying eastern Illinois and western Indiana is named the "Danville Member," after the area where it was first discovered.[9] With the closure of the mines and many factories, Danville's economic base suffered in the latter half of the 20th century. The former mines were converted into lakes, creating fishing and recreation opportunities at parks such as Kickapoo State Recreation Area and Kennekuk Cove County Park.[citation needed]

Danville is located approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Chicago, 35 miles (56 km) east of Champaign-Urbana, and 90 miles (140 km) west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Illinois Route 1, U.S. Route 136, and U.S. Route 150 intersect in Danville; Interstate 74 passes through the south end of town. Lake Vermilion is located on the northwest side of town.

According to the 2010 census, Danville has a total area of 17.967 square miles (46.53 km2), of which 17.89 square miles (46.33 km2) (or 99.57%) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.20 km2) (or 0.43%) is water.[10]

Online Welding Classes

pipe welder at work in Danville ILWelding is very much a hands-on type of vocation, and for that reason not very suitable for online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Danville 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 novice a foundation to start their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly 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 want to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Choose the Right Welding Technical School Danville IL

Choosing the right welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional welder in Danville IL.

 

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