Welders work in a variety of industries, joining metals together with heat. Welders can work on many kinds of structures, such as mobile homes, pipes, steel reinforcement and others, because welding is a relatively easy manufacturing process and provides a great deal of strength.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, welding has a good forecast for growth over the 2006-16 decade, which is slightly lower than average of all jobs at five percent. Also, as the oil market grows, demand for welder grows as well. Welding isn’t threatened much by technological advances because of its reliance on human oversight, and the fact that automated welding simply cannot perform many projects. Depending on the industry, the level of training and other factors, welders generally make between $30-50,000 a year.
There are a few different ways to become a welder in the United States. Special certification is not required in many states, but a welder’s background can be important to prospective employers, and certification is available at special welding and vocational schools. These schools offer many different programs for different welding techniques. On-the-job training is also available in the form of apprenticeships. Specialty Welding and Vocational Schools
There are many welding schools available across the country. The American Welding Society has a school locator and links to many welding competitions for welders-in-training. Looking at brochures and reading school reviews is very helpful for a prospective student to determine if the program is right for him or
Welding schools can last a matter of weeks to months. Classes are designed to appeal to a wide range of applicants, so schools usually offer both day and evening sessions for students to work around their other schedules. Competitive school programs will provide students with adequate welding bays for hands-on learning, and courses will be taught by certified teachers, either former industry professionals or professional welding teachers. Additionally, class sizes are often small enough to get individual attention.
Many schools offer a lot of different training tracks, from general structural classes to more advanced, master welder courses. The more advanced classes will generally cost more money. Welding schools can cost in the couple-thousand dollar range, but most all of them assist students in obtaining some financial aid, usually in the form of a loan. Some schools will even assist students in obtaining lodging for the duration of the coursework.
One major draw to a welding class is the job placement assistance offered to students. Not only do students get hands on, professional training, but schools will typically host business visits so companies can recruit new welders from the student body. Even though the welding industry has very good employment rates, having this kind of help can make finding a job and starting a career that much easier for a beginning welder.
Not all states require professional welders to be certified, but certification can certainly help make a welder attractive to prospective employers and customers. Look into your state’s certification requirements or ask for information at the welding school. Most schools have certification programs in addition to the general classes. On-the-Job Training
Employers are eager for new talent, but are also eager to retain this talent. If an investment into the training of an inexperienced welder is going to pay off in a long term relationship between the employee and the company, then the hiring agent is going to be more interested in employing the prospective welder. This is why many companies host apprentice programs. These programs provide on-the-job training for prospective welders, while usually supplying some type of stipend. This occurs under a specific agreement, signed by both parties, about the length and scope of the training, as well as the aim of the trainee to remain with the company for a specific amount of time. Other methods
Other methods of welding training require a bit of luck and foresight. Those who start lucky can begin learning welding in high school shop class, although funding for these classes is dropping nationwide and their availability is location specific. Additionally, some people may have a relative or friend who is a professional or hobby welder.
If a hopeful welder does not have access to any of the above opportunities, he or she might look into local community colleges, which sometimes have welding classes available very cheaply. Sometimes businesses will run classes through a community college as a way of outreach and a way of scouting for talent.