Welding school is idea for people who love work using both their hands and their minds. Are you one of them? If you enjoy working with tools and like the idea of creating strong structures, then perhaps a career in welding would be a good fit. The process is used to permanently join metal parts using heat applied to metal pieces, melting and fusing them to form a permanent bond. Welding is used in shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications, and many other manufacturing activities. It also is used to join beams for buildings and bridges construction and in pipe joining, pipelines, power plants, and refineries and other industries.
Welding Education and Training
Trade schools that offer welding in the curriculum focus on certain areas before the actual practical courses are taken. These foundation areas include occupational safety and blueprint reading. Earnings vary according to level of education and experience, type of work, complexity of the construction project and geographic location.
Based on the curriculum students learn how to work from drawings and blueprints to analyze the parts that need to be joined. They are responsible for selecting and setting up welding equipment, executing the planned welds, and examining welds to ensure that they meet standards or specifications.
Highly skilled welders are trained to work with many materials such as steel, titanium, aluminum, and plastics. Training to become a welder takes 6 months to 2 years. Although some companies provide basic training, they prefer to hire welders with formal training. Courses may include:
- Blueprint reading
- Shop mathematics
- Mechanical drawing
In addition, having computer skills is important for welding engineering, soldering, and brazing machine operation, as you would be responsible for the programming of computer-controlled machines. After you graduate from and as you become more skilled, and with additional training and experience you can aspire to become a welding technician, supervisor, inspector, or instructor.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classified welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers together. In these professions they are responsible for:
- Studying blueprints, sketches, and specifications
- Calculating dimensions to be welded
- Inspecting structures and materials to be welded
- Igniting torches and start power supplies
- Monitoring welding processes
- Smoothing and polishing surfaces
Welders work for construction companies, metal companies, salvage firms, boilermakers, and many industries that require the skills of certified welders. Welders work on various tasks that include various forms of welding, cutting, soldering, brazing and metallurgy.
To be effective and precise, welders need good eyesight, hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, and attention to detail. Welders are required to wear safety shoes, goggles, hoods with protective lenses, and other devices designed to prevent injuries. They must also work in well-ventilated areas.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that earnings in construction are higher than the average for all industries upon completion of the program requirements and some experience. In 2004, production or non-supervisory workers in construction averaged $19.23 an hour ($736/week).
In 2010, the median annual wage of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was $35,450, and the employment of welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers is expected to grow 15% between 2010 and 2020.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, job opportunities are expected to be good in the construction industry due to the small number of fewer people with the right education or experience entering the skilled trades.
Almost every manufacturing industry uses welding at some stage of manufacturing or in the repair and maintenance of equipment so welders with credentials from state recognized schools remain in demand, tied to the construction industry.
Construction and Welding Programs
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