Welding is a great career option you can be willing to consider if you love building things with your hands but first, you need to learn the skills and obtain a qualification. This blog post shares information on the best welding schools in Illinois you should consider applying to.
Welders are professional metal workers that cut and connect metal sheets to build a range of structures and machinery for industries. They also repair metal structures, inspect materials that need to be welded, and maintain metal structures of all types and sizes. Welders are mainly found in the manufacturing and construction industries.
The above is just a summary of what welders do, there is a lot of brainwork, decision-making, critical thinking, problem-solving, and mathematical and scientific knowledge that goes into it. All of these are what you are going to learn at a welding school if this is the career you want to pursue. If you love building things with your hands, possess physical strength and endurance, and have steady hands with good hand-eye coordination then you are on your way to a successful welding career.
In the US state of Illinois, you can find good welding schools that will train you both in the practical and theoretical aspects to prepare you for a successful career in the welding industry. Welding training involves more practical and less theory, also, it doesn’t take long to complete, at most, 2 years after you’re done with the program, get your qualification, and start working with a manufacturing or construction company or establish your own welding company.
The typical welding qualifications offered by welding schools in Illinois are certificates, diplomas, and an associate degree. Community colleges, trade schools, technical colleges, and vocational institutions offering welding training programs make up most part of welding schools in Illinois, there are just a handful of fully-grounded welding schools in Illinois.
Residents of Illinois, non-residents, and international students are welcome to enroll in a welding training program at any of the institutions above. Of course, you have to meet the requirements set by the various institutions for their welding programs before you can enroll. Remember that each institution has its own set of eligibility criteria and requirements.
However, the requirements for enrolling in a welding program in Illinois are minimal and can be met by almost anyone. The typical requirements include a minimum high school GPA, GED, or high school diploma, a specific sum of money for fees, and a minimum age requirement of 18 years old.
Having said that, let’s get into the main topic.
Best Welding Schools In Illinois
The following are the best welding schools in Illinois:
- Illinois Welding School
- Joliet Junior College (JJC)
- First Institute Training & Management, Inc. (FITM)
- ETI School of Skilled Trades
- Lincolnland Technical Education Center (LTEC)
- Lincoln Tech
- Rock Valley College
- Carl Sandburg College
- Midwest Technical Institute
- A Safe Haven
- Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)
1. Illinois Welding School
On our first list of best welding schools in Illinois is the Illinois Welding School or IWS. This school offers intense hands-on personal welding training. But what makes the school stand out is that its students benefit from the school’s 88% job placement rate average and 90% graduation rate.
Illinois Welding School offers AWS and ASME Welding Certifications and courses in structural, pipe welding, and combination welding. The school is accredited by the Illinois State Board of Higher Education.
2. Joliet Junior College (JJC)
Joliet Junior College is another great school for welding in Illinois, it offers a Welding Technology Program that is practical-focused just like a traditional welding program. However, what makes it stand out is that JJC offers an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Welding Technology and 5 different certifications in SMAW, GTAW, FCAW, Pipe Welding, and Basic Welding.
This training is carried out in a cutting-edge welding lab on the JJC campus and it is taught by industry professionals who already have real-world experience.
3. First Institute Training & Management, Inc. (FITM)
FITM is an institution that has been providing out-of-school workforce development programs since 2005. Thanks to this program, more than 3,000 youth and adults have been able 4. to gain invaluable skills and knowledge that have helped them stand on their feet. The programs offered include medical assistant, medical office assistant, welding technology, and business computer applications.
The welding technology program comprises 150 hours and equips students with hands-on skills preparing them for an entry-level position in welding. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a welding certification approved by the American Welding Society (AWS).
4. ETI School of Skilled Trades
ETI School of Skilled Trades offers one of the best welding programs in Illinois. The welding lab is a massive state-of-the-art 13,000 square feet structure where students will spend most of their time learning from experienced industry experts and gaining hands-on skills.
The welding program trains students by putting them in a job-site simulation and giving them adequate guidance every step of the way until they gain the skill. The program can be completed in as little as 31 weeks. Financial aid will also be provided to those who qualify and there will be a multi-point shuttle service to take students to and from school.
5. Lincolnland Technical Education Center (LTEC)
LTEC is a technical school in Lincoln, Illinois offering varieties of training programs in culinary arts, cosmetology, nursing, computer science, advanced metals, and building trades. The institution offers a far more advanced welding training program which they named Advanced Metals and it gives you skills and knowledge above a typical welder.
The Advanced Metals program takes 1-2 years to complete, and in that time, students will learn everything from welding to machining. The aim of the program is to build skills and knowledge in the areas of welding and machining to gain employment opportunities in a related career.
6. Lincoln Tech
Lincoln Tech is a college of technology located in Melrose Park and accredited by the Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Programs offered at the college include welding technology, medical assistant, electrical/electronics, automotive technology, and collision repair and refinishing.
The Welding Technology program at Lincoln Tech consists of 960 hours of in-depth hands-on training designed to prepare students to enter the manufacturing and/or construction industries as new welders. Graduates will be skilled in FCAW, GTAW, TIG, SMAW, and GMAW.
7. Rock Valley College
Rock Valley College offers a comprehensive welding program in Illinois to prepare graduates for an entry-level positions in welding, construction, manufacturing, and fabrication industries. The welding program at Rock Valley College is accredited by the American Welding Society and students from the program will obtain certification when they complete the program.
The program can be completed in 1 semester. There are part-time and full-time options with afternoon and evening schedule options.
8. Carl Sandburg College
Carl Sandburg College is a public community college in Galesburg, Illinois accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The college offers degree and certificate programs in the fields of agriculture, business, public service, health science, manufacturing, and information technology.
Under the manufacturing discipline, there is a welding track that offers a basic welding certificate, an advanced welding certificate, oxy-fuel welding & cutting certificate, and an Associate of Applied Science in welding.
9. Midwest Technical Institute
This is a trade school in Illinois offering a wide range of allied health and mechanical and skilled trades programs. Under the mechanical and skilled programs is the welding training program that takes as little as 7 months to complete and earn a diploma. The welding classes are offered during the day and evening times.
10. A Safe Haven
A Safe Haven is a training academy that equips homeless, disadvantaged job seekers, ex-offenders, military veterans, youths, and young adults with in-demand skills that can help them get into the workforce when they need to. The academy offers welding and culinary arts programs to all of the individuals above.
The welding training is a 14-week, 210 hours program that teaches students basic welding skills that lead to an accredited certificate from the American Welding Society. Students are further trained in basic computer skills, financial literacy, and adult basic and secondary education. The program is entirely free.
11. Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)
JARC is another institution helping unemployed and low-income adults in Chicago to gain helpful skills that can get them into the workforce. Alongside other programs, the institution offers welding programs to equip interested learners with basic welding skills to prepare them for a career in the manufacturing and welding industry.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will earn a certificate from the American Welding Society, and receive job placement assistance, and free tutoring.
The state of Illinois does not require you to have a license to work as a welder, but having a certification helps boost your reputation in the industry and opens up more job opportunities with higher pay. You can research online to learn what people think about the college you want to attend. If possible, contact former and current college students to get their feedback on the quality of education they received.