Find Welding Schools and Jobs
Top welding schools and training institutions are enrolling candidates now. Read a substantive guide on how to find welding schools and jobs today.
A professional welder is trained to utilize heat and pressure to fuse metals or other materials together. This is useful for multiple project types ranging from building construction jobs to cruise ships and airplanes. Obtaining a professional welder position requires meeting certain criteria, however.
Multiple top welding schools and training institutions are enrolling new candidates. Prior to submitting your application, it is necessary to know which schools are best suited for your goals and budget. Different aspects and requirements of the job, as well as salary expectations are also vital to understand. Continue reading for a substantive guide on how to find welding schools and jobs today.
Introduction to Welding
Three primary types of introductions to welding are important to make. The first introduction involves technical aspects of welding. This is important because it allows you to understand what is at the core of the career you seek. The second introduction includes important aspects involved in a welding career. The third involves proven strategies and requirements to become a professional welder in the modern world.
What is Welding? (Intro to Technical Aspects of Welding)
Welding is a fabrication-based process of construction. The process utilizes heat and pressure to fuse different parts of qualified materials together. Multiple types of metals and other materials are involved. Non-metal materials include wood and thermoplastics. Types of metals used for welding include aluminum, cast-iron, oxygen-free copper, stainless steel, and steel. Welding eliminates boundaries between two of the same type of these items, melding them together when pressure and/or heat reach sufficient reactive levels.
Multiple different types of welding services are provided as well. The most common type of welding service performed today is referred to as Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW). GMAW, which is also referred to as Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, utilizes four methods of transferring metal to procure the desired results. A few of the more common types of welding services provided today include:
Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) - used for industrial-based iron fabrication welding and steel-structure construction projects.
Gas Tungsten Arc Welding (GTAW/TIG) - used on thick, non-ferrous, or stainless-steel metals.
Flux Cored Arc Welding (FCAW) - semi-automatic process; performed outside due to high levels of smoke and fumes; used for construction projects due to fast completion speeds.
What Is Involved in a Welding Career? (Overview the Welder Job)
Even though welding is technically a blue-collar trade, the process involves significant engineering skills and creativity as well. Large construction firms might offer welding (and therefore top welding jobs) as part of their packages and bids. Welding services are also provided by small business owners and sole proprietors. Available project types are vast in number. This results in multiple types of welding skills to acquire and master, in addition to numerous types of welding positions to obtain. Possessing skills with multiple welding techniques and styles helps increase job prospects - and salary offers. Additionally, welders proficient with multiple welding styles also increase their customers bases faster, resulting in extended career longevity.
What Is Needed to Become a Welder? (Intro to Job Requirements)
Becoming a professional welder requires you obtain specific types of training. The process from start-to-finish is like the process required for electricians. This is because both fields require working with dangerous equipment in frequently dangerous environments. As a welder you will specifically be working with flames burning at such extremely high temperatures, they are capable of melting metal. Sparks will literally fly. You will be exposed to dangerous materials every workday. Therefore, the top two soft skills needed to become a welder are concentration and fortitude.
You must choose the style of welding in which you wish to specialize. It is possible to train in multiple styles simultaneously or consecutively as well. Once you choose your specialization you then need to choose your source of training. While some schools teach all styles of welding, others only teach specific types. After choosing your school and completing all classes with a passing grade, you will receive your welding certification. This is necessary to begin your hands-on training in an apprenticeship with a master welder. After successfully completing your apprenticeship, you will be permitted to pursue a job on your own as a certified welder.
Courses in the four primary types of welding (GMAW, SMAW, GTAW/TIG and FCAW) are available. Courses in Laser, Friction, Thermal Stir and Energy Beam Welding (EBW) styles are also taught. Friction Stir, Plasma Arc and Atomic Hydrogen Welding (AHW) classes are also common. Because welding schools typically offer specific welding-based certifications, general academic requirements applicable to college degrees such as English and general science are not required.
Courses do include advanced mathematic courses such as trigonometry and geometry, however. Welding jobs involve calculating accurate material lengths, forming joints and angle measurements to be completed both correctly - and safely. Certain welding schools also teach Pipefitting and Steam Fitting courses for welders looking for advanced specializations. For more information on certification requirements and courses required, click on this LINK to the American Welding Association (AWS) certification webpage. Additional types of welding courses available include:
Introduction to Welding Safety.
Fast Fill (groups of electrodes).
Duties and Salary of a Professional Welder
A professional welder is required to ensure the safety of him or herself, as well as the surroundings and other people in the area. Professional welders must also follow all safety regulations and demonstrate a confident, secure ability to handle flames with responsibility. Welders also need to know how at what temperatures to set the flame during each welding process. This is always based on the materials used and project-specific circumstances. Blueprints are viewed as well, which helps calculate the length and dimensions of the object to be imminently welded. Finally, professional welders are also responsible for a safe and thorough cleanup and storage of their equipment and the area in which they worked.
A professional welder earns an average of $22.25 per hour or $44,190 per year. Salaries tend to increase with experience and extensive skill sets. Salaries are also potentially higher when working for a large contractor or corporation. The job outlook for welding careers through 2030 is expected to increase in-line with all other job positions (approximately eight per cent).
A Day in the Life of a Professional Welder
During a workday as a welder, you will use multiple different types of gear, tools and equipment. For example, stick welders, angle grinders, calipers, clamps and TIG/MIG welders are all used as applicable. The tool or gear needed during each step is dependent upon the materials welded and the intended result of the project. Welding jobs are typically worked in shifts. Irregular or longer-than-normal hours might be experienced during various weeks, depending on the contracts enacted. Certain positions are available inside, while others must be worked outside for safety reasons. Indoor job sites might be small and therefore require additional safety precautions.
Different Types of Welding Careers
Welding jobs in the automobile, construction and shipbuilding industries are available. Positions in various manufacturing fields are also available. Additional types of welding careers available today include: