How to Choose a Welder Training Program near Round Lake Illinois
Locating the right welder technical school near Round Lake IL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to pick 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? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their residences. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important concerns when evaluating welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your selected welding 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
There are several options available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can receive a diploma, a certificate 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 offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Round Lake IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Illinois trade and technical schools and take about one year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed largely 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 finish and are usually offered by Illinois 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 don’t forget to check for your location of potential employment. If required, the welding school you choose should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to supplying the appropriate training to become a professional welder in Round Lake IL.
Welding Certification Choices
There are a number of institutions that provide welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. Many Round Lake IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a respected organization such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A variety of certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specific metal thicknesses
- Work with specific kinds of welds
- Operate according to contract specifications
As formerly mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a means to prove to Round Lake IL employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welding vocational school you select prepares you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Courses
Welding is truly a manual type of trade, and therefore not extremely compatible with training online. However, there are some online welding programs offered by various Round Lake IL area community colleges and trade schools that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes mainly cover such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a basis to begin their training and education. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that would like to advance their knowledge or possibly earn a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very careful and confirm that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welder Tech Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you want to attain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to compare schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding vocational and trade schools in the Round Lake IL area. That’s why it’s important to establish in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed 2 important 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 need to be looked at. After all, the school you select is going to furnish the instruction that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to consider before choosing a welder tech school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 standard types of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school has, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you select is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you receive a superior education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases not offered for Round Lake IL non-accredited schools. Finally, for those states or local governments that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. These schools must have relationships with local unions and various Round Lake IL metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can help students find employment and develop associations within the regional 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 welding program you choose has a high completion rate. A low rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the teachers, 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 affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of Round Lake IL employer relationships to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welding schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar 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. If not, ask a local Round Lake IL welding contractor if they can give you some tips.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the importance of location, there are a few additional points that we need to address. You should remember that unless you can move, the welding program you choose needs to be within commuting distance of your Round Lake IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welding degree 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 local community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized instruction is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not obtain much individualized training. Find out what the typical class size is for the Round Lake IL area welder programs you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with a few of the students and get their feedback. Also, chat with some of the instructors and ask 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 present job. Make sure that the class schedules for the schools you are considering are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Round Lake IL, make certain that the schools you are considering offer those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, make certain that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Welding Professional?When prepping to interview for a Welder position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask Welder candidates is "What made you choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a Welding Tech, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to Welding, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Select the Right Welding Vocational School near Round Lake IL
Selecting the ideal welding training program will undoubtedly be the most critical decision you will make to launch your new career. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that you will need to examine and compare among the programs you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training program that you are evaluating includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom teaching needs to offer a real-world context, and the course of study should be current and in-line with industry standards. Courses differ in duration and the kind of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best serve your needs. Every training program provides different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you select is the best one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final result will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Round Lake IL.
About Round Lake Illinois
Round Lake, Illinois
Round Lake is a northern suburb of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 18,289.
Round Lake is located at 42°21′15″N 88°6′2″W / 42.35417°N 88.10056°W / 42.35417; -88.10056 (42.354045, -88.100529).
According to the 2010 census, Round Lake has a total area of 5.635 square miles (14.59 km2), of which 5.47 square miles (14.17 km2) (or 97.07%) is land and 0.165 square miles (0.43 km2) (or 2.93%) is water.
As of 2010 United States Census, there were 18,289 people, 6,206 households, and 5,847 families residing in the village. The population increased 310% from the 2000 US Census total of 5,492. The population density is 3,225.6 people per square mile (1,244.9/km²). There are 6,206 housing units at an average density of 1,094.5 per square mile (422.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village is 68.9% White, 4.77% African American, 0.5% Native American, 12.7% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.69% from other races, and 3.24% from two or more races. 25.3% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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