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

How to Find the Right Welding Certification Program near Des Plaines Illinois

Des Plaines IL welding school studentLocating the ideal welding trade school near Des Plaines IL is an essential first step to starting your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you select the right one? Many people begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. Once they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when reviewing welder vocational schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create a list of qualifications that your chosen 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 Degree and Certificate Programs

Des Plaines IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational 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 common welding programs available in the Des Plaines IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by trade and technical schools and take about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned largely to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional 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 well-rounded 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 requirements for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Options

Des Plaines IL welder working on poleThere are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Des Plaines IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different 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 specific types of welds
  • Operate based on contract specifications

As previously stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding tech school you select preps you for certification as needed.

How to Choose a Welding Trade School

Des Plaines IL welder working on carAs soon as you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and vocational schools in the Des Plaines IL area. That’s why it’s essential to decide in advance what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to furnish the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are more factors you may need to consider before picking a welding vocational school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welder vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are 2 standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Des Plaines IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.

Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welder degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Some 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. The schools should have relationships 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 help students find employment and develop relationships within the Des Plaines IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a higher completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Des Plaines IL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have decreased your selection of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Confirm that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be using 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 Des Plaines IL welding professional if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you pick must be within driving distance of your Des Plaines IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation expenses there could 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 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 want to work.

Smaller Classes. Individualized training is important for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are looking at. Ask if you can sit in on some classes so that you can see just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are convenient enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Des Plaines IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Des Plaines IL?

Perhaps you live in the Des Plaines 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.

Des Plaines, Illinois

Des Plaines /dɪs ˈpleɪnz/ is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Its population was 58,364 at the 2010 census.[5] The city is a suburb of Chicago and is located just north of O'Hare International Airport. It is situated on and is named after the Des Plaines River, which runs through the city just east of its downtown area.

Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe (Chippewa) Native American tribes inhabited the Des Plaines River Valley prior to Europeans' arrival. When French explorers and missionaries arrived in the 1600s in what was then the Illinois Country of New France, they named the waterway La Rivière des Plaines (English translation: "River of the Plane Tree") as they felt that trees on the river resembled the European plane trees. The first white settlers came from the eastern United States in 1833,[6] after the Treaty of Chicago, followed by many German immigrants during the 1840s and '50s.[7] In the 1850s, the land in this area was purchased by the Illinois and Wisconsin Land Company along a railroad line planned between Chicago and Janesville, Wisconsin. In 1852, the developers built a steam-powered mill next to the river to cut local trees into railroad ties. Socrates Rand then bought the mill and converted it into a grist mill, which attracted local farmers. The Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad made its first stop in the area in the fall of 1854.[8]

In 1857, the Chicago, St. Paul, and Fond du Lac Railroad began running its route, stopping[citation needed] near the mill on the Des Plaines river, where a small business section had grown up. The railroad platted the prospective town of Rand at the site. In 1859, the Chicago and North Western Railway purchased the rail line, giving the train station the name "Des Plaines". In 1869, the Rand subdivision's name was changed to Des Plaines, and the village of Des Plaines was then incorporated.[9]

Online Welder Schools

pipe welder at work in Des Plaines ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and trade schools in the greater Des Plaines IL area that may be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to start 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 performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Best Welding Vocational School Des Plaines IL

Choosing the ideal welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welder training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom education should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential offered, so you will need to determine what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Des Plaines IL.

 

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