Before we get into matters of welding education, let us describe what a welder does. A professional who can fuse metallic components so as to form a final product is known as a welder.
To work as one, you’d need to how to handle hazardous material. What’s more, you must also be strong physically since welding equipment can often be heavy.
Aside from deriving work from your own client list, you can also join various industries that require your welding skills. Those include:
- Motor vehicles
- Creative arts
Of course, your level of expertise and the quality of vocational education you receive will determine your job type and salary.
But welding isn’t the only option for students looking to vocational education. Don’t want to take the traditional route to graduation? Here are Top Four Vocational School Jobs for High Pay!
Welding Education Requirements
Just like they would for most jobs, the requirements for welding education vary by employer. For instance, you may be okay to work after scoring a high school diploma with some employers. They might ask you to clear a few welding tests of their choosing. You can do that, instead of obtaining a degree in welding.
Others, though, will need that certification. So, you’d need to enroll into a technical or vocational school. There, you can choose between the following programs:
- Intermediate Welding Certificate of Achievement
- Associate of Science (in welding)
- Bachelor of Science (in welding engineering)
Also, there are colleges that offer Associate’s degrees in even more specialized branches of welding education. So, pick the industry you want to work in. Then, you will know if such an esoteric specialization is what you need, such as Maritime Welding, etc.
Finally, certain employers would be willing to take on inexperienced potential welders. In that case, you will learn as you work. It’s called an apprenticeship.
If you’re a student who wants to commit to a formal educational program, you can also check out these 5 Online Vocational Certificate Programs!
Welding Education Programs
At a school that offers formal welding education, you will learn both technical and soft skills. The former are more directly associated to your work as a welder. The latter, on the other hand, don’t. They have more in common with courses that can help you succeed in the workplace.
Briefly, you’ll be taught about:
- The process of piping and welding plates across multiple positions and conditions. When working as a professional welder, the conditions you come across will be far from perfect. Your classes, thus, will aid you. Gauge the best approach out of the different welding positions and the techniques in your repertoire.
- All the major welding processes, mainly, GMAW, SMAW, GTAW, and Flux Core Arc Welding. Since different industries use different methods, the more informed you are, the better your chances for employment.
- How best to communicate and look for jobs when you become a part of the professional world out there.
- Advanced math. That’s because you’d need measure angles correctly before cutting a pipe or welding the right part of it for a solid joint.
- The properties of different metals. In your line of work, you’ll make use of this information frequently when dealing with the substances.
A sample program in a vocational school of your choice might look something like this:
- Welding theory
- Welding labs
- Safety and leadership
- Technical mathematics
- Professionals relations and job search
- Writing fundamentals
Associate & Advanced Welding Education
Aside from the classes we mentioned above, you’d also be taking these:
- Oral communication fundamentals
- Advanced welding theory
- Mechanical drawing
- Advanced welding processes
Welding Education — Certifications & Specializations
Just as there are diverse types of welding, there also exist certifications for each. You can specialize in any of them. So, once you complete a program for a specific type and earn your certificate, you can work full time.
Aspiring welders would be better served if they map out their careers beforehand. Then, they can choose one that takes them closest to their objectives. Aside from that, many employers also require their employees to have completed certifications. In most cases, you could satisfy that requirement with a basic AWS Certified Welder certification.
The organization designates particular testing facilities. You must prepare for their exam. Then, give the test at one such location to get the AWS certification. Fortunately, the AWS doesn’t place any other regulations on who is eligible for the exam. Though, first, you will complete a written portion. After that, you practically demonstrate your welding skills to pass.
You might like to know more about these 5 Online Vocational Certificate Programs.
After you complete your welding education, you can choose to build your career as a:
- Welding sales representative
- Welding inspector
- Welding fabricator
- Welding engineer
Of course, your level of expertise and the advanced nature of education will influence your career options. Other than that, a willingness to relocate might also win you points with potential employers.
BLS reports that welding results in a salary of $42,490 per year. Moreover, welders are looking at improved job prospects between 2018 and 2028.
Since your heart is set on welding, then you might get some good use out of the following helpful links:
However, all that aside, welding education isn’t the only path for students to take. If vocational schools are more your style, then try out these Vocational Careers: 6 of the Best in 2020 that Pay Well and Won’t Bore You! On the fence about college education? Read, Six Benefits Of Vocational School, for guidance.
You can also smoothly switch careers by using the tips we mention in this piece, The Career Counseling You Need in the Time of COVID-19.
On the other hand, if you cannot wait for your career in welding to begin, start looking for quality technical or vocational schools right away. It serves those who love working with their hands and traveling for work quite well.