People who have technical skills and love to explore creative fields can pursue a career in welding. Not only it pays well, becoming a welder is quite easy as only a high school diploma would suffice.
But, you need to study welding in a trade school and gather adequate experience in welding to build a career in it. If you’re living in Chicago, Illinois, you’re in luck! Today, we’re here to talk about the best welding schools in Chicago, Illinois, where you can enroll to become a welder.
How Much Does Welding School Cost in Chicago?
The cost of completing welding programs from welding schools would vary depending on the school and the program.
An average cost of studying in a welding school at Chicago would range from $15,000 to $25,000. As mentioned, it will vary depending on the school itself and the program.
How Do I Become a Certified Welder in Chicago?
You need at least a high school diploma to pursue a degree in welding. If you qualify, there are some steps you need to follow to become a certified welder in Chicago.
1. Find a Good Welding School in Chicago
The technical school or college that you choose must have an accredited course in welding. You have to ask for the course materials from the program coordinator. Show the course details to a professional to find out if this course is adequate to become a welder.
Make sure to pay a visit to the school and have a look at their welding lab. It should have state-of-the-art facilities to ensure proper learning program. If you need to enroll into evening classes, see if they have the welder program with evening classes.
If everything goes well, find out the total cost you’d have to pay to complete the course. See if there are any hidden charges. After getting a total estimated amount, evaluate the cost with your budget. Don’t enroll if it exceeds your budget by miles.
2. Meet the Requirements
Most of the vocational schools or colleges have some basic requirements like being a high school graduate, providing proof of residency, providing details of social security card, submitting proof of graduation or high school transcripts, etc.
Some of the prominent colleges may ask for further requirements as having some basic skills and knowledge in welding to enroll into their welding training program. You might have to know about basic weld joints, weld positions, reading blueprint, welding theory, etc.
Some colleges may ask you to sit for a program admission assessment to evaluate if you’re one of the eligible students. If you cut a good score in it, talk to program coordinator to find out if the school is offering any discount for the welding program student fee.
3. Choose a Specialized Course
Now that you’re about to enroll into a prominent welding school, you have to choose a specialized course in welding. It will depend on the jobs you want to pursue and the career path you want to follow.
You might have the options like welding inspection, TIG and MIG welding, gas arc welding, calibrating machines, manual welding, pipeline welding, etc.
4. Pay the Fees and Enroll
After choosing your preferred course, enroll and start attending the classes. See how many semesters credit hours you have to complete and if you need to take any additional hours.
The semester credit hours will depend on the course itself and the specialized path you chose.
How Long Do Welders Go to School?
The duration of welding programs in vocation schools and colleges depend on the course itself, and the institution. Students have to complete 41-42 credit hours on an average to finish the welding program.
However, the semesters credit hours will vary depending on a lot of factors. But, the whole course ranges from a year to 2 or 3. There are also short courses that last for 6-8 months.
Is Becoming a Welder Worth in Chicago?
Becoming a welder is definitely a worthy job in Chicago! There are certain perks that come with the job.
First of all, you get to pursue your career much earlier than in any field. If you work as an independent contract, you get to choose your own hours and pay rates.
Welders earn around $40,000 on an average in Chicago. The pay rate is bound to increase as you get older and gather more experience. So, becoming a welder is definitely worth in Chicago!
5 Best Welding Schools in Chicago
Now that we’ve explored everything in detail about becoming a welder in Chicago, let’s find out where you can enroll to become a welder in Chicago. We’ve reviewed the 5 best welding schools where you can study welding.
1. Lincoln Tech
Lincoln Tech has been a vital component of the Chicago community for over a century. Students can pursue hands-on career options in the automotive, welding, electronics, and healthcare industries by studying at Lincoln Tech.
You have to be a high school graduate to enroll into the welding program here. After paying the registration fee, you have to pass the admission test. If you pass the test, you have to sign an agreement to get into the program.
Address: 8317 W. North Avenue, Melrose Park, Chicago, IL 60160
The welding program at Lincoln Tech will focus on welding technology in-depth. Course modules will cover TIG and MIG welding, pipeline welding, flux core welding, welding safety issues, and many more.
It will take 44 weeks and 960 contact hours to complete the program. The whole program will cost $25,035 including the cost of books and other materials.
2. Richard J. Daley College
Richard J. Daley College is a community college that’s actually a part of the City Colleges of Chicago. They offer a short industrial course on welding for people who already have a bit of knowledge and skills in welding.
You need to be a high school graduate to enroll into this program. Also, it’s mandatory to have a driver’s license and a social security card.
Address: 7500 South Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60652
Richard J. Daley’s welding curriculum will prepare students for the American Welding Society’s GNAW or MIG or GNAW certification. They also have specialized courses on shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, etc.
It’ll cost you $146 per credit hour and the program requires completing 6 credit hours.
3. A Safe Haven Training Academy
For homeless and disadvantaged job seekers including veterans a Safe Haven Training Academy offers welding program to help them prepare for successful employment.
You just have to attend the program orientation and fill out their application. They will contact you to let you know whether you’re eligible for the program or not.
Address: 2750 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608
Basic welding is covered in the Introductory Welding program, which will get you the AWS certificate. Basic welding abilities, blueprint interpretation, and job safety and ethics, and everything required will all be covered. The program also includes an OSHA 10 certification test.
The welding program is free for the candidates.
4. ETI School of Skilled Trades
This institution prepares students to become skilled and efficient welders for the welding sector. They have numbers of experienced instructors who aid in the process of successful completion of the program.
You have to submit your high school transcripts and schedule an interview with the admission office. If you’re eligible, they will let you know about your enrollment.
Address: 500 Joliet Rd Suite #100, Willowbrook, Chicago, IL 60527
ETI School of Skilled Trades have both evening and day classes available for students. The program focuses on TIG and MIG welding, gas arc welding, manual welding, and everything else as it needs.
The whole program will cost you $16,000 including the books and other materials.
5. Moraine Valley Community College
This is a prominent institution with a vast number of teachers available for teaching everything you need to know about welding. After you complete the welding program from here, you’ll be ready to work as a welder anywhere in the world.
After you submit high school transcripts and their application form, you have to sit for an admission test and pass in it. The admission office will let you know if you’re eligible for enrolling.
Address: 9000 W. College Pkwy., Palos Hills, Chicago, IL 60465-2478
The program will last for 3 semesters with 33 credit hours. It will cover industrial welding, TIG and MIG welding, flux core arc welding, pipeline welding, and all other welding theories that you need to know.
The welding program will cost $7,180 excluding the cost for books, materials, and residence.
If you’ve made up your mind about becoming a welder in Chicago, then know that you won’t regret it at all! Along with earning quite a sum, you get to work in the creative field and chances to travel.
So, to become a welder, enroll into one of the best welding schools in Chicago!