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

How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near Dekalb Illinois

Dekalb IL welding school studentChoosing the ideal welding vocational school near Dekalb IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many prospective students start by looking at the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have found those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial considerations when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations 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 wise to develop 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.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses

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

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized 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 furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still supplying the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of municipalities and states do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to check for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Choices

Dekalb IL welder working on poleThere are various organizations that provide welding certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Dekalb IL employers not only expect a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, a number also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you choose preps you for certification if needed.

How to Pick a Welder Trade Program

Dekalb IL welder working on carOnce you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you probably know, there are many welding vocational and trade schools in the Dekalb IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered a couple of important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are some additional factors you might need to consider before choosing a welding trade school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school offers, 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 recognized accrediting agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation might also help in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Dekalb 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 as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the Dekalb IL welding community.

Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an academic program and finish it. It’s important that the welder program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate might mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the quality of training. A higher job placement rate will not only verify that the program has a good reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of Dekalb IL contacts to assist students secure employment or apprenticeships after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be instructed on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain 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 Dekalb IL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly discussed the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you choose must be within driving distance of your Dekalb IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation expenses there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welding certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school offers an apprenticeship or job placement program, often 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 wish to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be lost in larger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welding programs you are considering. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, talk with some of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Dekalb IL, verify that the schools you are looking at offer those options. If you can only attend part-time, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Dekalb IL?

Perhaps you live in the Dekalb 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.

DeKalb, Illinois

DeKalb /dɪˈkælb/ is a city in DeKalb County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43,862 according to the 2010 census, up from 39,018 at the 2000 census. The city is named after decorated German American war hero Johann de Kalb, who died during the American Revolutionary War.

DeKalb was originally called Huntley’s Grove,[4] and under the latter name was platted in 1853.[5] The name is for Baron Johann de Kalb, a major general in the American Revolutionary War.[6] A post office has been in operation at DeKalb since 1849.[7] The development of barbed wire is key in the history of DeKalb. Joseph Glidden, who developed barbed wire, was a historic citizen of DeKalb. Glidden would ultimately be known as the “Father of Barbed Wire”. Glidden began to mass produce his invention, and eventually sold half of the company to Isaac L. Ellwood. Together, the two formed the Barb Fence Company.[4]

The city of DeKalb is in northern Illinois, United States, roughly 55 miles west of downtown Chicago and roughly 30 miles southeast of Rockford, IL. The Kishwaukee River flows northward through the city of DeKalb.

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Dekalb ILWelding is truly a hands-on type of profession, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and trade schools in the greater Dekalb IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses mainly deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. Nevertheless, the most significant point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for seasoned welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely careful and confirm that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Find the Ideal Welding Tech School Dekalb IL

Choosing the best welding training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to assess and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welding school that you are considering includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching should provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every program provides unique possibilities for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to go to 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 choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Dekalb IL.

 

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