Would you enjoy working with metal materials for a living? Do you possess good vision, agility and the ability to focus? If you do, a career in welding might be for you.
Welding involves using heat to connect various types of metal parts. Many types of structures and products require welding, such as automobiles, buildings, overpasses and ships. Plans and drawings are typically used during the welding process. In order to work in most welding professions, certification is necessary.
Welders are employed by a number of different types of companies, including as welding shops, aircraft companies, fabricating shops, construction companies, shipyards and steel manufacturing companies. You could also find employment in other types of manufacturing companies or welding workshops. You might gain employment as a welder, welder machine operator or cutter.
Many welders gain the training they need through a vocational or technical training program. However, earning a welding engineering and technology bachelor's degree may lead to employment as a welding engineer. Related occupations include machinist, metal worker and welding inspector.
While the overall field of welding is expected to see a slight decrease in job opportunities, trained welders will find it easier to locate employment because of a shortage of highly skilled workers in the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Employment of welding, soldering and brazing workers is expected to decrease two percent between 2008 and 2018, reported the BLS. However, specializing in high-technology welding can give you an advantages beyond that of a normal welding degree. In May 2010, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers earned an average annual salary of $37,370, noted the BLS.
Welding programs range from undergraduate certificates to associate's or bachelor's degree programs in welding. Certificate programs may cover various forms of welding, welding workshop standards and planning. Associate degree programs in welding might cover analyzing plans, the different forms of welding and manufacturing. Other studies in welding might include metals, coding, composites, safety, types of steel, fumes, piping and conductor detection.
You can typically find welding programs at community colleges, vocational schools and technical schools. Specialized programs, such as a certificate or associate degree in combination welding technology program, may also be available. These types of programs cover areas such as in metal arc, flux core welds and gas tungsten arc. Online welding courses might also be offered, as well as online certificate and degree programs in welding.
As a graduate, you should be prepared to begin an entry-level position in welding. You will be equipped with knowledge in sketching and planning, fusing, infrastructures, machinery and mathematics, as well as iron, steel and other metals.