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

How to Enroll In a Welding Trade School near Darien Illinois

Darien IL welding school studentSelecting the right welder vocational school near Darien 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 notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Certificate and Degree Training Programs

Darien IL welder working on pipingThere are several options available to receive training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Following are short descriptions of the most prevalent welding programs available in the Darien 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 nature, designed largely to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to complete and are usually offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more extensive education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welding school you choose should ready you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Options

Darien IL welder working on poleThere are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Darien IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Just some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As already mentioned, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make certain that the welding trade school you choose prepares you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Trade School

Darien IL welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Darien IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have previously discussed two important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be considered. After all, the program you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new profession as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic 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 offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Darien IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are looking at help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the Darien IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you select has a high completion rate. A low rate might signify that the students who enrolled in the program were unhappy with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Darien IL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out 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 modern. In particular, 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 already in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Darien IL welding professional if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly talked about the significance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to relocate, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Darien IL home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Additionally, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement 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 want to work.

Small Classes. Individualized instruction is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much personalized training. Ask 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 witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, chat with a few of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are looking at are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Darien IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see 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 Darien IL?

Perhaps you live in the Darien 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.

Darien, Illinois

The first people to settle in Darien came from New England via the Erie Canal and Great Lakes. Among the first to arrive was the Andres Neiman family. They settled along an old stagecoach line in 1835. Andres served as Justice of the Peace, Town Clerk, Assessor, Dog Catcher, and County Commissioner. He also established the Andres Inn, near what is currently the intersection of Lemont Road and I-55; the inn served the 15 stagecoaches that traveled the stagecoach line, and included a tavern and a post office. Andres named the area "Cass."[4]

Andres and Father Beggs built the First Cass Church, which was a log cabin design. The church's cemetery, located west of where the church stood (west of Bailey Road and north of Frontage Road), can still be seen today. The church was also used as a school house.[4]

Elisha and Eliza Smart settled in Darien in 1838 with their 10 children. Elisha joined the Gold Rush and left for California, returning seven years later as a very rich man. He bought more land and donated it, on which a new Cass Church was built in 1870.[4]

Online Welding Courses

pipe welder at work in Darien ILWelding is very much a hands-on type of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater Darien IL area that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a basis to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Select the Best Welding Tech Program Darien IL

Picking the right welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world context, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification also. Probably the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the teachers and students. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you decide on is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Darien IL.

 

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