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

How to Pick a Welder Training Program near Downers Grove Illinois

Downers Grove IL welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welding school near Downers Grove IL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your alternatives, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary considerations when examining welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 prudent to create a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Certificate and Degree Training

Downers Grove IL welder working on pipingThere are multiple alternatives available to obtain 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 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 offered in the Downers Grove IL.

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally offered by technical and trade schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two 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 furnishing the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so be sure to check for your location of future employment. As required, the welder school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to take in addition to providing the suitable training to become a qualified welder.

Welding Certification Alternatives

Downers Grove IL welder working on poleThere are a number of organizations that provide welder certifications, which evaluate the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Numerous Downers Grove IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a respected agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available dependent on the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As earlier stated, many cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding vocational school you select readies you for certification as needed.

How to Pick a Welder Trade Program

Downers Grove IL welder working on carWhen you have chosen the credential you want to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are a large number of welder vocational and trade schools in the Downers Grove IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to establish up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 significant ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to consider before picking a welder trade school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional 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 single program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So verify that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school itself. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, 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 may also help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable in Downers Grove IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welding degree or diploma programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon 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 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 associations within the Downers Grove IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that enroll in an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the instruction, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Downers Grove IL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welder programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be working with in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Downers Grove IL welding contractor if they can give you a few tips.

School Location. Although we already briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Downers Grove IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, apart from relocation costs 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, more than likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the average class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend a few classes so that you can observe just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Convenient Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Downers Grove IL, make sure that the schools you are assessing provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Downers Grove IL?

Perhaps you live in the Downers Grove 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.

Downers Grove, Illinois

Downers Grove is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer, whose surname serves as the eponym for the village. It is a south-western suburb of Chicago in the I-55 Corridor

Downers Grove was founded in 1832 by Pierce Downer,[6] a farmer who traveled to Illinois from Rutland, New York, but was originally from Vermont.[7] Its other early settlers included the Blodgett, Curtiss, Blanchard, Stanley, Lyman, and Carpenter families. The original settlers were mostly migrants from the Northeastern United States and Northern Europe. The first schoolhouse was built in 1844.

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad was extended from Aurora to Chicago through Downers Grove in 1864, boosting its population. The town was incorporated in March 1873. Its somewhat unusual spelling ("Apostrophe-free since 1873") remains a minor historical mystery.

Online Welding Training Programs

pipe welder at work in Downers Grove ILWelding is very much a manual kind of vocation, and therefore not extremely suitable for training online. Even so, there are a few online welding classes offered by various community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Downers Grove IL area that can be credited toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials unless you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be accomplished online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make certain that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Find the Ideal Welding Trade Program Downers Grove IL

Picking the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are several things that you will need to evaluate and compare among the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are examining includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and every student should have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction should provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Every program provides different options for certification also. Probably 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 monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in Downers Grove IL.

 

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