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

How to Choose a Welder Certification Course near Edwards Illinois

Edwards IL welding school studentEnrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Edwards IL is an essential first step to starting your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are so many schools to pick from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you select the right one? A number of people start by checking out the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate 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 concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before beginning your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to create 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.

Welding Degree and Certificate Training Courses

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

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed largely 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 2 years to complete 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 readies students to enter the workforce.

A number of states and municipalities do have licensing prerequisites for welders, so make sure to find out for your location of future employment. As needed, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing exams that you will have to take in addition to providing the proper training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Options

Edwards IL welder working on poleThere are various organizations that offer welding certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Edwards IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are available based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly mentioned, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for different types of work. Certification is also a way to prove to employers that you are a highly skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and verify that the welding tech school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Technical Program

Edwards IL welder working on carAfter you have decided on the credential you would like to obtain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Edwards IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your selected school must have. We have already covered 2 significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the school you pick is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welder tech school.

Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding trade school you decide on is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, 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 receive a superior education, the accreditation can also help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are in many cases not available in Edwards IL for non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. A large number of welder degree or certificate programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have associations with local unions and various metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish relationships within the Edwards IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welding program you pick has a high completion rate. A low rate may indicate that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. 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 school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Edwards IL employer relationships to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify 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 on the job. If you are unsure 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 Edwards IL welding contractor if they can give you some suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the importance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we need to address. You should keep in mind that unless you are able to move, the welding program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Edwards IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides moving costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder 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 regional community. So the location of the school should be in an area or state where you subsequently will desire to work.

Small Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much one-on-one instruction. Find out what the usual class size is for the welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can attend some classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Scheduling. Many people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Edwards IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those options. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Edwards IL?

Perhaps you live in the Edwards 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.

Edwards County, Illinois

Edwards County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 6,721.[1] Its county seat is Albion.[2] It is located in the southern portion known locally as "Little Egypt".

Edwards County is subdivided into "Road Districts", rather than "Townships" as in most Illinois counties. Pursuant to the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Northwest Territory (including Illinois) was surveyed and mostly organized into townships that are six miles square; but Edwards County was settled prior to that survey, and its pre-existing Road Districts do not generally correspond with the survey's townships.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 223 square miles (580 km2), of which 222 square miles (570 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (0.1%) is water.[4] It is the fourth-smallest county in Illinois by area.

Online Welding Schools

pipe welder at work in Edwards ILWelding is very much a manual kind of trade, and consequently not very compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and technical schools in the greater Edwards IL area that can be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, 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 environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Select the Right Welding Technical Program Edwards IL

Picking the best welding school will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many things that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are looking at. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes should be smaller in size and every student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world context, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different possibilities for certification also. Perhaps The ideal approach to research your final list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Invest some time to monitor a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you pick is the right one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Edwards IL.

 

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