How to Select the Best Welder Training Program near Naperville Illinois
Selecting the right welding trade school near Naperville IL is an important first step to launching your new occupation 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 options, how do you pick the best one? Many prospective students begin by reviewing the schools that are closest to their residences. When they have located those that are within commuting distance, they gravitate toward the least costly one. Yes, location and tuition cost are crucial concerns when reviewing welder technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other concerns 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 sensible to establish a list of qualifications that your chosen school must have. But before we delve into our due diligence checklist, let’s cover a little bit about how to become a welder.
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Welder Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are multiple options available to obtain training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can earn a a certificate, a diploma 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 in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs offered in the Naperville IL area.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by technical and trade schools and take about one year to finish. 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 supplemental skills for working welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are usually offered by 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.
Many municipalities and states do have licensing requirements for welders, so make sure to check for your location of potential employment. If needed, the welding school you choose should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder.
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Welding Certification Alternatives
There are several institutions that offer welder certifications, which evaluate the skill level and knowledge of those applying. A large number of Naperville IL employers not only demand a certificate or degree from an accredited welding school, but also certification from a highly regarded agency like the American Welding Society (AWS). Different certifications are offered based on the kind of work that the welder does. Just some of the skills that certification can attest to are the welder’s ability to
- Operate in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Perform based on contract specifications
As previously stated, some states, cities or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, some additionally require certification for various types of work. Certification is also a way to demonstrate to employers that you are an extremely skilled and knowledgeable welder. So just as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and verify that the welder technical school you choose prepares you for certification if needed.
What to Ask Welder Tech Schools
After you have decided on the credential you would like to attain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to evaluate schools. As you are no doubt aware, there are many welding trade and technical schools in the Naperville IL area. That’s why it’s essential to determine in advance what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have previously covered 2 important ones that many people look at first, which are location and tuition cost. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that must be looked at. After all, the school you decide on 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 may want to consider before selecting a welding trade school.
Accreditation. It’s essential that the welder technical school you choose is accredited by either a regional or a national organization. There are two standard types of accreditation. The school may receive 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 certain that the program you select is accredited, not just the school alone. 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 obtain a quality education, the accreditation might also help in getting financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Naperville IL for schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welding training program be accredited also.
Job Placement and Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous welding degree or diploma programs are provided in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Other schools will assist in placing you in an apprenticeship or a job after graduation. Find out if the schools you are reviewing assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have relationships with local unions and other metal working businesses to which they can refer their students. Older schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for referrals. These programs can assist students in finding employment and develop relationships within the Naperville IL welding community.
Completion and Job Placement Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an instructional program and finish it. It’s crucial that the welder program you select has a higher completion rate. A lower rate could mean that the students who were in the program were dissatisfied with the instruction, the instructors, 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 affirm that the program has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Naperville IL contacts to help students obtain employment or apprenticeships upon graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. After you have limited your choice of welding programs to two or three possibilities, you should think out going to the campuses to evaluate their facilities. Verify that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are up-to-date. Specifically, the training equipment should be comparable to what you will be using in the field. If you are not sure what to look for, and are currently in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Naperville IL welding professional if they can give you some pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should remember that unless you are able to relocate, the welder school you select needs to be within driving distance of your Naperville IL home. If you do opt to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there could be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially true for welder diploma 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 regional community. So the location of the school needs to be in a region or state where you ultimately will desire to work.
Small Classes. One-on-one instruction is essential for a hands-on trade such as welding. It’s easy to be overlooked in bigger classes and not get much one-on-one training. Find out what the usual class size is for the welder programs you are reviewing. Ask if you can attend some classes so that you can see just how much personal attention the students are getting. While there, talk with several of the students and get their opinions. Also, speak with a couple of the instructors and find out what their welding experience has been and what credentials and certifications they have earned.
Flexible Class Scheduling. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Verify that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to satisfy your needs. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Naperville IL, confirm that the schools you are considering provide those alternatives. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, make sure that the school you choose offers part-time enrollment. Also, ask what the protocol is to make up classes should you miss any because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Online Welder Training
Welding is very much a manual type of trade, and for that reason not extremely compatible with training online. Having said that, there are a few online welding courses offered by specific community colleges and trade schools in the greater Naperville IL area that may count toward a certificate or degree program. These classes primarily deal with such topics as reading blueprints, safety,, and metallurgy. They can help give a novice a foundation to start their training and education. Nevertheless, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Naturally that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for experienced welders that want to advance their knowledge or possibly attain a more advanced degree. So if you should come across an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and verify that the majority of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
Top Night Welding Courses Naperville IL
Choosing the best welding school will probably be the most critical decision you will make to begin your new career. You originally stopped by our website because you had an interest in Top Night Welding Courses and wanted more information on the topic Best Accredited Welding Courses. However, as we have addressed in this article, there are a number of things that you will need to examine and compare between the programs you are reviewing. It’s a necessity that any welding training program that you are considering includes a lot of hands-on instruction. Classes should be small in size and each student should have their own welding machine to train with. Classroom education should 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 type of credential offered, so you will need to ascertain what length of program and credential will best fulfill your needs. Each program provides unique options for certification also. Perhaps the best approach to research your short list of schools is to visit each campus and talk with the students and faculty. Take the time to attend some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and commitment, the end outcome will be a new trade as a professional welder in Naperville IL.
Other Illinois Welder Locations
Naperville (/ˈneɪpərˌvɪl/) is a city in DuPage and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. Located 28 miles (45 km) west of Chicago, Naperville was founded in 1831 and developed into the fifth-largest city in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 141,853, which was estimated to have increased to 147,682 by 2017.
In a 2010 study assessing cities with populations exceeding 75,000, Naperville was ranked as the wealthiest city in the Midwest and the eleventh wealthiest in the nation. It was ranked among the nation's safest cities by USA Today and Business Insider. Naperville was voted the second-best place to live in the United States by Money magazine in 2006 and it was rated first on the list of best cities for early retirement in 2013 by Kiplinger. In 2015, it was named as one of the most educated large cities in America with populations over 50,000.
In July 1831, Joseph Naper arrived at the west bank of the DuPage River with his family and friends to found what would be known as Naper's Settlement. Among those original settlers were Naper's wife Almeda Landon, his brother John with wife Betsy Goff, his sister Amy with husband John Murray, and his mother Sarah. Their arrival followed a nearly two-month voyage across three Great Lakes in the Naper brothers' schooner, the Telegraph. Also on the journey were several families who remained in the settlement that would become Chicago, including that of Dexter Graves who is memorialized in Graceland Cemetery by the well-known Lorado Taft statue "Eternal Silence" (also known as "the Dexter Graves Monument").
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