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

How to Find the Right Welder Technical School near East Alton Illinois

East Alton IL welding school studentFinding the right welder trade school near East Alton IL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to pick from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your choices, how do you select the right one? Many people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial issues when evaluating welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welding Degree and Certificate Programs

East Alton IL welder working on pipingThere are several alternatives available to receive training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn 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 made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most typical welding programs offered in the East Alton IL.

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

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, therefore make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you pick should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the suitable training to become a professional welder.

Welding Certification Choices

East Alton IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many East Alton IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are available dependent on the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those mandating licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to prove to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you decide on preps you for certification if needed.

How to Decide on a Welding Technical School

East Alton IL welder working on carAfter you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to assess schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the East Alton IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously covered a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you may need to consider before choosing a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in East Alton IL for schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited as well.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are provided combined with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop relationships within the East Alton IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an educational program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A lower rate may indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied 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 confirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the field, but additionally that it has the network of East Alton IL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, 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 currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local East Alton IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you select needs to be within driving distance of your East Alton IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welding degree programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, more than likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can observe how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.

Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near East Alton IL, make sure that the schools you are looking at provide those choices. If you can only enroll part-time, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near East Alton IL?

Perhaps you live in the East Alton 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.

Alton, Illinois

Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles (24 km) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the home town of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary in Alton was used during the Civil War to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.

Although Alton once was growing faster than its sister city of St. Louis, a coalition of St. Louis businessmen planned to build a competing town to stop its expansion and bring business to St. Louis. The result was Grafton, Illinois.

Many blocks of housing in Alton were built in the Victorian Queen Anne style; they represent a prosperous period in the river city's history. At the top of the hill in the commercial area, several stone churches and a fine city hall also represent the city's wealth during its good times based on river traffic, manufacturing and shipping. It was a commercial center for a large agricultural area. Numerous residences on hills have sweeping views of the Mississippi River.

Online Welder Certificate and Degree Programs

pipe welder at work in East Alton ILWelding is truly a manual kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. However, there are a small number of online welding programs offered by certain community colleges and technical schools in the greater East Alton IL area that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly deal with such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most critical 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 must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their expertise or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding certificate or degree program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

Pick the Ideal Welding Tech School East Alton IL

Selecting the best welder school will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to assess and compare between the programs you are looking at. It’s a must that any welding school that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to determine what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Invest some time to attend a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new career as a professional welder in East Alton IL.

 

The location could not be found.

 

Business Results 1 - 10 of 5

Seven 12 Portable Welding & Metal Works
1 Reviews
Metal Fabricators
Phone:
11710 Richwood School Rd, Lebanon, IL 62254

Gerling & Sons Welding
2 Reviews
Metal Fabricators
Phone:
2905 Woodson Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63114

Abbey Fence
2 Reviews
Fences & Gates
Phone:
10944 Galt Industrial Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63132

River City Fence
8 Reviews
Fences & Gates
Phone:
St. Louis, MO 63130