When you have decided that you want to be a welder, the next big decision is where to find a welding school that offers certified welding programs. Your chosen welding school will train you in your chosen specialty. Some schools will only prepare you to be an entry-level welder, while others will take steps towards preparing you to pass the test. You cannot work in the industry without passing the test, so when looking for schools, it is a good idea to focus on ones that train you to pass the welding test and get licensed.
What Should I be Learning in Welding School
At a good welding school, you should be receiving a broad education in welding techniques including some more complex methods. Listed below are some of the methods you should know after having graduated from a welding school:
- Pipe Welding
- Orbital Welding
- Boiler Tube Welding
- Welding Inspection
- Ship Fitting
- Pipeline Downhill Welding
What Other Skills Should I Pick Up from Welding Schools?
During your time at welding school, you should also develop some soft skills that will help you to excel in the industry. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following is a list of traits welders should have:
- Manual Dexterity
Welders generally have to work in cramped, dark or high places. Often times, they will need to work with one hand and hold torches or tools with the other
- Spatial Oriental Skills
Welders are expected to interpret 2D diagrams and envision them as 3D models. They are also expected to fit metal parts correctly afterwards
- Physical Strength and Stamina
Welders have to work with their hands and are often required to lift heavy tools and equipment
Types of Welding Programs
There are different kinds of welding programs available for those who want to receive training in this field. You could start by taking high school shop classes in mathematics and automotive repair. However, you will likely need further training to start working. You can then start looking for certificate programs. Several schools in America provide accredited programs in welding e.g. the American Welding Society. You can choose to get certified in different specializations like the certified welder designation, certified welding instructor, or certified robotic arc welding. You could also get an associate’s degree in welding.
How Much Do Certified Welders Make?
Certified welders tend to have more job security than professionals in other occupations. The demand for welders is generally high since the need for construction projects is ever present. The median annual wage for welders, cutters, solderers and brazers as of May 2018 was $41,380 and the median hourly wage was $19.89.
The typical entry-level education required for this professional is a high school diploma or equivalent degree. However, those who are trained in welding will have better chances of employment than those who are not. The number of jobs available for welders in 2016 was 404,800. This figure is expected to increase by 6% in the decade between 2016 and 2026. This will add 22,500 new jobs into the industry.