How to Select a Welding Degree Program near Rossville Illinois
Selecting the ideal welding trade school near Rossville IL is an important first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are a lot of schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more notably, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? Most people begin by looking at the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have found those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are crucial issues when evaluating welding vocational 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 welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welding Certificate and Degree Training Courses
There are a number of options available to obtain training as a welder in a technical or trade school. You can earn a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Engineering or Welding Technology, but are more advanced programs than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Below are brief descriptions of the most common welding programs offered in Rossville IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to develop welding skills. They can furnish 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 usually offered by Illinois community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more extensive education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Some states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. As needed, the welding school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will need to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Rossville IL.
Welder Certification Options
There are a number of organizations that offer welder certifications, which test the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Rossville IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered 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 specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain kinds of welds
- Work in compliance with contract specifications
As earlier stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Rossville IL employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your location and make certain that the welder trade school you choose readies you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Training
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding classes offered by certain Rossville IL area community colleges and vocational schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These courses primarily deal with such subjects as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally 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 possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be extremely cautious and confirm that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Pick a Welding Trade School
After you have chosen the credential you want to earn, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are a large number of welding trade and technical schools in the Rossville IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important ones that most people consider first, which are location and tuition cost. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may earn Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, such as Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for Rossville IL schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Job Assistance and Apprenticeship Programs. Many welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have associations with local unions and other Rossville IL 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 relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students that start an educational program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you choose has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may signify that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the quality 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 Rossville IL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Modern Equipment and Facilities. After you have narrowed down your selection of welding programs to 2 or 3 possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught 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 already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Rossville IL welding professional if they can give you some suggestions.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should deal with. You should bear in mind that unless you have the ability to move, the welding school you pick must be within commuting distance of your Rossville IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case 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 needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. Individualized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to get lost in bigger classes and not get much individualized instruction. Ask what the typical class size is for the Rossville IL area welder programs you are looking at. Inquire if you can attend a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Similarly, speak with some of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Check to see that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Rossville IL, make certain that the schools you are looking at offer those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Want to Be a Welder?When preparing to interview for a Welding position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask Welder candidates is "What compelled you to select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent Welder and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Welding Vocational School near Rossville IL
Choosing the ideal welder training program will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have covered in this article, there are many factors that you will need to evaluate 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 training. Classes should be smaller in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train on. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the curriculum should be current and conform with industry standards. Programs differ in length and the kind of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification also. Probably The ideal way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak 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 ideal one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the end outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Rossville IL.
About Rossville Illinois
Rossville is a village in Ross Township, Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,331. It is part of the Danville, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The location was originally named Liggett's Grove in honor of John Liggett who built a lodging house in 1829. Liggett's cabin was located on the Hubbard Trail, an early trading route established by Gurdon Hubbard from Chicago to Danville. In 1833, this became the first state highway (now Illinois Route 1) and in 1914 was made part of the Dixie Highway.
In 1838, Alvan Gilbert purchased the Liggett farm, and the following year became postmaster at the newly established post office. Rossville was incorporated as a village in August 1859. Rossville and Ross Township were named after Jacob Ross, a settler in the area.
In February 2004, a fire broke out in the downtown business district and destroyed several of the historic buildings and antique shops for which Rossville has been known.
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