How to Find the Right Welder Training Program near Wood Dale Illinois
Enrolling in the right welding trade school near Wood Dale IL is an important first step to starting your new occupation 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 narrowed down your alternatives, how do you select the right one? A number of prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are nearest to their homes. Once they have identified those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and the cost of tuition are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other factors include such things as accreditation, reputation and job placement rates. So before starting your search for a trade school to become a welder, it’s wise to create 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.
Welder Degree and Certificate Training Classes
There are several options to get training as a welder in a trade or technical school. You can receive a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced degrees than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available combined with an apprenticeship program. Following are short summaries of the most prevalent welding programs offered in Wood Dale IL.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are normally made available by Illinois trade and technical schools and require about a year to complete. They are more hands-on training in nature, fashioned primarily to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or specialized skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take 2 years to finish 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 supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter the workforce.
A number of municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, therefore don’t forget to check for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you choose should prep you for any licensing exams that you will need to pass in addition to furnishing the proper training to become a professional welder in Wood Dale IL.
Welding Certification Alternatives
There are multiple organizations that offer welder certifications, which assess the knowledge and skill level of those applying. A large number of Wood Dale IL employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency such as the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based upon the kind of work that the welder performs. A few of the things that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with specified metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform according to contract specifications
As already stated, many states, cities or local municipalities have licensing mandates for welders. Of those requiring licensing, some additionally require certification for various kinds of work. Certification is also a way to prove to Wood Dale IL employers that you are an exceptionally skilled and experienced welder. So similarly as with licensing, look into the requirements for your location and verify that the welding technical school you select prepares you for certification as needed.
Online Welder Schools
Welding is very much a hands-on kind of vocation, and therefore not very suitable for training online. Even so, there are some online welding programs offered by certain Wood Dale IL area community colleges and technical schools that may count toward a degree or certificate program. These classes mainly cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or use welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be performed online. These skills need to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is better suited for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should find an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the larger part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of setting.
How to Select a Welding Trade School
After you have decided on the credential you want to obtain, a diploma, certificate or degree, you can start to assess schools. As you can imagine, there are numerous welding trade and technical schools in the Wood Dale IL area. That’s why it’s necessary to decide up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously discussed 2 important ones that most people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As mentioned, although they are very important qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you decide on is going to provide the education that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So below are more factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welding tech school.
Accreditation. It’s extremely important that the welding tech school you choose is accredited by either a national or a regional agency. There are two standard kinds of accreditation. The school may receive Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on an individual program the school offers, for example Welding Technology. So confirm that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Also, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, the accreditation might also assist in getting financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for Wood Dale IL schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or local governments that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited as well.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. A large number of welder diploma or degree programs are offered combined with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will help place you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Ask if the schools you are considering assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. The schools should have relationships with local unions and various Wood Dale IL metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. More established schools may have a more substantial network of graduates that they can utilize for placements. These programs can assist students in finding employment and establish associations within the local welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate may mean that the students who joined the program were unhappy with the instruction, the teachers, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also an indication of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only verify that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Wood Dale IL contacts to assist students secure apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your selection of welder schools to two or three possibilities, you should consider going to the campuses to inspect their facilities. Confirm that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are up-to-date. In particular, the training equipment should be comparable 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 Wood Dale IL welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Although we already briefly covered the significance 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 welder program you choose needs to be within driving distance of your Wood Dale IL home. If you do decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation costs there might be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is particularly the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Also, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, most likely their placements are within the school’s local community. So the location of the school needs to be in an area or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Small Classes. Individualized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s easy to get lost in larger classes and not obtain much individualized instruction. Find out what the typical class size is for the Wood Dale IL area welding schools you are considering. Ask if you can sit in on a few classes so that you can experience just how much individual attention the students are getting. While there, speak with some of the students and get their opinions. Also, talk with some of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Convenient Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still employed at their present job. Verify that the class schedules for the programs you are considering are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wood Dale IL, make certain that the schools you are considering provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you pick offers part-time enrollment. Also, check to see what the policy is to make up classes should you miss any due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welding job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask Welding applicants is "What compelled you to choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a Welder, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding Welding Technician and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Pick the Best Welding Tech School near Wood Dale IL
Selecting the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to start your new profession. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to evaluate and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a necessity that any welding training that you are assessing includes a good deal of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student must have their personal welding machine to train on. Classroom teaching needs to provide a real-world perspective, and the training program should be up-to-date and conform with industry standards. Programs vary in length and the type of credential offered, so you will have to decide what length of program and certificate or degree will best satisfy your needs. Each training program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Take the time to sit in on some classes. Inspect the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you select is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, effort and dedication, the final outcome will be a new career as a professional welder in Wood Dale IL.
About Wood Dale Illinois
Wood Dale, Illinois
Wood Dale is a city in Addison Township, DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 13,770 at the 2010 census, and estimated to have increased to 13,911, as of July 2012.
Wood Dale was originally known as Lester's Station, after John Lester, an early settler.
According to the 2010 census, Wood Dale has a total area of 4.834 square miles (12.52 km2), of which 4.72 square miles (12.22 km2) (or 97.64%) is land and 0.114 square miles (0.30 km2) (or 2.36%) is water. Wood Dale shares borders with Elk Grove Village (on the north), Bensenville (east), Addison (south, southwest) and Itasca (west.)
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,535 people, 5,117 households, and 3,663 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,897.8 people per square mile (1,119.0/km²). There were 5,220 housing units at an average density of 1,117.6 per square mile (431.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.22 percent White, 0.58 percent African American, 0.15 percent Native American, 3.24 percent Asian, 0.07 percent Pacific Islander, 4.80 percent from other races, and 1.94 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.06 percent of the population.
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