Would you be interested in starting a career in a field where jobs are in high demand, offer excellent entry-level salaries (plus benefits) and multiple opportunities for advancement? You may be surprised to learn you can find all those – and more – in the welding industry.
Whether you’ve decided not to continue college or are having a hard time finding a job related to your bachelor’s degree, you can start a career in welding very quickly. In fact, by attending a technical school, you can finish a welding training program and be ready to look for a job in about one year.
Benefits of Technical School for Welding Training
Technical school (sometimes called vocational or trade schools) offer educational programs in specific fields. Unlike four-year colleges, these programs focus on the knowledge and skills needed for the job and usually do not include general studies courses.
Many technical schools have welding certificate programs that involve both classroom and hands-on learning. Depending on the school, a welding certificate program can take only 6-18 months to complete.
If you’ve already attended a four-year college, you may be concerned about spending more money on education or taking on additional student debt. You’ll be happy to know that technical school is a more cost-efficient option. The average cost to complete a technical school program is $33,000, which is less than a single year of tuition at many private universities. There are also scholarships and financial aid options available for attending technical school.
What You’ll Learn During Welding Training
A welding certificate program is designed to provide you with the fundamental understanding and skills to start a welding career. While every technical school is different, you should learn:
- How to weld in multiple positions on both plate and pipe
- How to weld steel, aluminum and stainless steel
- The four major arc welding processes:
- Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW)
- Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW, commonly called TIG)
- Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW, commonly called MIG)
- Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW)
- How to cut, grind, and prepare materials for welding
- Basic visual inspection of welds
- Safety practices and procedures
- Basic metallurgy (the science of metals)
- How to read blueprints and symbols
- Additional job-specific tasks
Becoming an AWS Certified Welder
After completing your training program, you should be prepared to pass the AWS Certified Welder test. Since welding is such an important process for building strong, safe structures and products, employers want to know their welders have the right experience and skills for the job.
Becoming an AWS Certified Welder is a widely recognized credential that will help you start and advance your career. Down the road, you can take additional certification exams for welding specialties.
How to get Started
When considering your next career choice, there are many aspects to consider. Not only do you want a job that’s personally and financially rewarding but you also don’t want to wait years to start. Welding gives you the opportunity to start a lucrative career very quickly – no matter how much other college education you have.