How to Select a Welder Trade School near Staunton Illinois
Choosing the ideal welding trade school near Staunton IL is an important first step to launching your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you select the best one? Most people start by checking out the schools that are closest to their homes. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they are drawn toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary concerns when examining welding trade schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we explore our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are multiple options available to receive training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a diploma, a certificate or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are offered 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. Following are brief explanations of the most typical welding programs available in Staunton IL.
- Certificate and Diploma Programs are usually offered by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, designed primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by Illinois community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology provides a more well-rounded education than the diploma or certificate while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prepare you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to providing the suitable training to become a professional welder in Staunton IL.
Welder Certification Choices
There are several organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Staunton IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are offered dependent on the kind of work that the welder does. A few of the things that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with specific types of welds
- Work according to contract specifications
As earlier stated, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, many also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Staunton IL employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and knowledgeable welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and make sure that the welding technical school you decide on preps you for certification as needed.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of profession, and consequently not extremely compatible with online training. Having said that, there are a small number of online welding classes offered by certain Staunton IL area community colleges and trade schools that can count toward a degree or certificate program. These courses primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to initiate their education and training. However, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or handle welding materials until you actually do it. Obviously that can’t be done online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or perhaps earn a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding certificate or degree program, be very careful and verify that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Select a Welder Technical Program
Once you have chosen the credential you would like to earn, a degree, certificate or diploma, you can begin to compare schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Staunton IL area. That’s why it’s essential to establish up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have previously discussed a couple of important ones that most people consider first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are essential qualifications, they are not the only ones that need to be looked at. After all, the program you pick is going to furnish the education that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So below are more factors you may want to evaluate before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welding trade school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school has, such as Welding Technology. So make sure 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 agency, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, the accreditation may also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often unavailable for Staunton IL non-accredited schools. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. A large number of welding certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will assist in placing you in a job or an apprenticeship upon graduation. Ask if the schools you are reviewing help in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job placement program. The schools should have associations with local unions and other Staunton IL metal working businesses to which they can place their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can utilize for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish relationships within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding program you pick has a higher completion rate. A low rate could signify that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and quit. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Staunton IL employer relationships to help students obtain apprenticeships or employment upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have narrowed down your choice of welder schools to two or three options, you should think out visiting the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be taught on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Staunton IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly talked about the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional issues that we need to address. You should remember that unless you are able to move, the welder program you select needs to be within driving distance of your Staunton IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides moving 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. Additionally, if the school offers a job placement or apprenticeship program, often 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 want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is important for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s possible to be lost in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the typical class size is for the Staunton IL area welder schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much individual attention the students are receiving. While there, speak with several of the students and get their opinions. Similarly, talk with a couple of the teachers and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they have earned.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Staunton IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Welding Professional?When getting ready to interview for a Welder job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask Welder applicants is "What made you select Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a Welding Tech, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to Welding, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Welding Technician and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Pick the Best Welding Technical School near Staunton IL
Choosing the best welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are looking at. It’s a necessity that any welder training program that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on training. Classes should be small in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Training programs vary in length and the kind of credential provided, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Every training program provides unique options for certification as well. Perhaps the best approach to research your final list of schools is to check out each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor a few classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the school you choose is the right one for you. With the right training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Staunton IL.
About Staunton Illinois
Staunton is the second largest city in Macoupin County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 5,139.
A man named Stanton bought land in the area, and then decided to move on and gave the land to the village for a square. At the meeting to discuss the post office someone suggested they name the village Stanton, a nod to Mr. Stanton. The suggestion was accepted and the application for a post office at Stanton went off to Washington, D.C. There the clerk who handled the request must have thought those westerners couldn't spell. The grant came back with the name spelled S-t-a-u-n-t-o-n, which is the name of a town in the Appalachian region of Virginia. It would take time and effort to have the error corrected, and little attention seemed to be given to the discrepancy.. Staunton, Virginia was and still is pronounced "Stanton". And so it was in Staunton, Illinois for many years. Some say that the people here began saying Staunton as we do today only after their throats were so full of coal dirt that they could no longer say Stanton. (Source 1)
The last coal mine in Staunton closed down in 1951.
Beginning on February 12, 1918 Staunton experienced two days of mob vigilantism and rioting that gained attention nationwide. Two men were tarred and feathered, with scores of others forced to kiss the American flag and sign loyalty pledges. The demonstration was initiated by members of the United Mine Workers, Local Union 755, who decided to "Americanize" the city through vigilante tactics.
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