Welder Training Schools near Westmont IL 60559

How to Select a Welder Trade School near Westmont Illinois 

Westmont IL welder working on pipeSelecting the ideal welding trade school near Westmont IL is an essential first step to beginning your new career as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you determine which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have narrowed down your options, how do you pick the right one? A number of people start by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have located those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the cheapest one. Yes, location and tuition cost are important issues when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.

Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes

There are several alternatives available to get training as a welder in a technical or trade 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 courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs available in Westmont IL.

  • Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally offered by Illinois technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. They are more hands-on training in nature, designed mainly to teach welding skills. They can provide a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or additional skills for experienced welders.
  • Associate Degree Programs will take two years to complete and are most often offered by Illinois community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology furnishes a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma 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 check for your location of future employment. If needed, the welding school you select should ready you for any licensing exams that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a qualified welder in Westmont IL.

Welder Certification Alternatives

Westmont IL electrician welding poleThere are multiple institutions that offer welder certifications, which test the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Numerous Westmont IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the type of work that the welder does. A few of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to

  • Work in compliance with specific codes
  • Work with specified metal thicknesses
  • Work with certain types of welds
  • Work in compliance with contract specifications

As earlier mentioned, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those mandating licensing, some also require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to Westmont IL employers that you are a highly skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your local area and confirm that the welder vocational school you choose preps you for certification as needed.

Online Welding Certificate and Degree Programs

Welding is very much a manual type of vocation, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by certain Westmont IL area community colleges and technical schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These courses mainly deal with such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help give a beginner a foundation to initiate their education and training. Nevertheless, the most critical point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials unless you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be done online. These skills must be learned in an on-campus environment or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that desire to advance their expertise or possibly obtain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be extremely cautious and verify that the bulk of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.

How to Select a Welder Trade School

Westmont IL construction worker weldingWhen you have chosen the credential you would like to attain, 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 Westmont IL area. That’s why it’s important to determine up front what qualifications your school of choice must have. We have already discussed two important ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be considered. After all, the school you select is going to provide the instruction that will be the foundation of your new career as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might need to evaluate before choosing a welding tech school.

Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding vocational school you select is accredited by either a national or a regional organization. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a specific program the school has, for example Welding Technology. So verify that the program you pick is accredited, not just the school itself. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization, for example the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). In addition to helping ensure that you get a superior education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for Westmont IL schools that are not accredited. Finally, for those states or municipalities that require licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.

Apprenticeship and Job Assistance Programs. Many welder certificate or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Some other schools will help place 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 assistance program. The schools must have partnerships with local unions and other Westmont IL 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 assist students in finding employment and develop associations within the local welding community.

Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that begin an instructional program and complete it. It’s important that the welding program you choose has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who enrolled in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, 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 program has an excellent reputation within the trade, but additionally that it has the network of  Westmont IL employer relationships to help students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.

Modern Facilities and Equipment. After you have limited your selection of welding schools to two or three options, you should consider visiting the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the equipment and the facilities that you will be taught on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with in the field. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, ask the master welder you are working under for guidance. Otherwise, ask a local Westmont IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.

School Location. Even though we previously briefly covered the relevance of location, there are a couple of additional points that we should address. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welding school you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Westmont IL home. If you do choose to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly true for welder certificate 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 should be in an area or state where you subsequently will wish to work.

Small Classes. One-on-one training is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to get overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized training. Find out what the average class size is for the  Westmont IL area welder schools you are considering. Inquire if you can attend a few classes so that you can experience how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and ask what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they hold.

Flexible Class Schedules. Lots of folks learn a new profession while still employed at their present job. Check to see that the class schedules for the schools you are looking at are convenient enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Westmont IL, confirm that the schools you are assessing provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any due to work, sickness or family emergencies.

Why Did You Desire to Be a Welder?

When preparing to interview for a Welding job, it's advantageous to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask Welding applicants is "What drove you to decide on Welding as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a Welder, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to Welding, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Welding Technician and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.

Find the Best Welding Trade School near Westmont IL

Choosing the right welding school will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to start your new career. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any welding training that you are examining includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be small in size and each student must have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education needs to offer a real-world context, and the training program should be current and conform with industry standards. Training programs vary in duration and the kind of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers unique options for certification as well. Perhaps The ideal means to research your final list of schools is to visit each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Westmont IL.

About Westmont Illinois

Westmont, Illinois

Westmont is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Westmont is a community of 5.03 square miles in area. Westmont had a 2000 population of 24,554, a partial special census was conducted 2007 resulting in a population of 26,211, and the census of 2010 put the population at 24,685. It is located approximately 18 miles (29 km) west of the Chicago Loop in the southeastern portion of DuPage County.[5]

The area known as Westmont was inhabited by the Potawatami until the year 1833. After several failed attempts by the U.S. government to persuade the Native Americans to move from the area, in 1833, the Native Americans agreed under coercion to vacate their land for nominal payment.[6]

The development of the Illinois-Michigan Canal, authorized by the State of Illinois in the 1820s but delayed in construction until the 1830s, contributed to Westmont's early growth.[6] When the economic Panic of 1837 halted canal construction, many of the workers turned to farming, and agriculture became the major occupation, with produce sold in nearby Chicago. The area around Westmont became one of the most prosperous sections of the state.

In order to transport agricultural products into the city of Chicago, construction of a plank road originating in Chicago began in 1840. The plank road was placed over the nine-mile (14 km) swamp separating Chicago and the area that became Westmont, and reached Naperville, Illinois by 1851.[6] Today, this roadway is known as Ogden Avenue (U.S. Route 34).

 

 

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