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

How to Find the Right Welder Certification Class near Erie Illinois

Erie IL welding school studentChoosing the right welder vocational school near Erie IL is an essential first step to launching your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to choose from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more significantly, once you have fine tuned your options, how do you pick the right one? Most people start by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important 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 beginning your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s sensible to develop a list of qualifications that your selected school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Courses

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

  • Certificate and Diploma Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, created primarily to develop welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive 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, so be sure to find out for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welder school you pick should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a professional welder.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Erie IL welder working on poleThere are several organizations that provide welding certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Erie IL employers not only require a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based upon the type of work that the welder performs. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

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

As formerly stated, some cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welder tech school you choose readies you for certification as needed.

How to Select a Welder Vocational School

Erie IL welder working on carWhen you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can start to compare schools. As you probably know, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Erie IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the school you decide on is going to provide 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 selecting a welding technical school.

Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder trade school you decide on is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are two basic types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 certain 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 organization, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you get a superior education, the accreditation can also assist in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered in Erie IL for non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.

Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welder degree or certificate programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations 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 rely upon for referrals. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the Erie IL welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that enroll in an instructional program and finish it. It’s important that the welder school you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate might mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also an indication 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 Erie IL contacts to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.

Modern Equipment and Facilities. Once you have limited your choice of welding programs to 2 or 3 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 similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are not sure 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 Erie IL welding contractor if they can give you a few suggestions.

School Location. Although we previously briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should address. You should bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the welder school you pick needs to be within driving distance of your Erie IL home. If you do opt to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation 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. Additionally, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Smaller Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in larger classes and not obtain much one-on-one instruction. Ask what the usual class size is for the welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness just how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with some of the students and get their evaluations. Also, chat with a few of the trainers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.

Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Erie IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing offer those alternatives. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the protocol is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family circumstances.

Will You Be Attending Welding School Near Erie IL?

Perhaps you live in the Erie 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.

Erie, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Erie has a total area of 1.449 square miles (3.75 km2), of which 1.44 square miles (3.73 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.[5]

As of the 2000 United States Census,[7] there were 1,589 people, 630 households, and 466 families residing in the village. The population density was 438.2/km² (1.132.7/sq mi). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 472.6 per square mile (182.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.80% White, 0.25% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.38% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.

There were 630 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.

Online Welder Degree and Certificate Programs

pipe welder at work in Erie ILWelding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and therefore not very compatible with online training. However, there are some online welding courses offered by certain community colleges and vocational schools in the greater Erie IL area that can count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily cover such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until 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 would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and verify that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.

Find the Right Welding Vocational Program Erie IL

Choosing the ideal welder training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare among the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are reviewing includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to provide a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best fulfill your needs. Every training program offers unique options for certification also. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on a few classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the end result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Erie IL.

 

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