Welding is a method to permanently join metal parts, by applying heat to metal pieces and fusing them together. This method is widely used in various major industries, such as shipbuilding, automobile manufacturing and repair, aerospace applications and many other manufacturing concerns. So, if you are thinking of becoming a welder. This is the right time.
It is also used to join large steel beams used in various construction projects like buildings and bridges and to join pipes in pipeline projects, refineries and power plants. So, what’s there for the people looking for the right kind of professional field. Welding is a great one when it comes to making such a decision.
What Do Welders Do?
Welders use different techniques and machinery to create heat that bonds metals together. The exact equipment they use varies with the industry they work in. They ignite torches or start power supplies and monitor the welding process to avoid overheating of the machinery. They also maintain the welding machinery and equipment they use.
Arc welding is the most common type of welding today, with many institutes offering programs in it. There are hundreds of other methods of welding, in use today by different industries. So the opportunities to learn in the field of welding are truly endless.
If the above information sounds interesting to you, you might want to consider a career in welding. The following guide will provide all the necessary information you need to become a welder.
Steps to Become a Welder
Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma
This is the minimum qualification that you will need to be eligible for jobs in this field. Many high schools offer courses in metal fabrication and welding. Even if your school does not offer such coursework, you can take up courses in math, algebra, and sciences to build up a strong foundation for a welding degree.
Step 2: Get a Degree in Welding
Students have the opportunity of getting a degree in welding or completing a certificate program in welding, as per their needs. A certificate program would typically last six to eighteen months. A degree, such as an associate’s degree in welding technology, would take at least 2 years to complete. Its the most important yet overlooked degree but potential beats a lot of good other professional degrees.
Step 3: Complete an Apprenticeship Program
This is the ideal way to gain an understanding of the inner workings of a welding career. The trainee welder gets to experience the work practices, along with getting hands-on training. Not only it helps in your knowledge growth but also acts as a carrier of good amount of work experience.
Step 4: Earn a Welding Certification
Certifications are a great way to validate your skill set and increase your employment potential. Most welding certification options are under the umbrella of the American Welding Society (AWS). Several certification options are available which are listed below:
- Certified Welder (CW)
- Certified Welding Inspector (CWI)
- Senior Certified Welding Inspector (SCWI)
- Certified Welding Educator (CWE)
- Certified Welding Sales Representative (CWSR)
Why Becoming a Welder Is Good for You
No matter what career you opt for. For matters at the end of the day is that you work and make out the most in it. A career in welding is a great opportunity for those who are good with their hands and enjoy challenging tasks. Here are a few reasons why welding might be a good career choice for you:
A Good Income
There is a lack of qualified and trained welders in the industry at the moment. And since there is lots of construction and developmental work going on, the need for welders is high. This mostly results in good paychecks for welders. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers made an annual median pay of $41,380 in 2018. For an occupation that requires minimal education, this is quite a good salary.
Hands-On and Diverse
For those who have an interest in this field, welding has been defined as an art, rather than a craft. It requires a great deal of precision and has a lot of room for creativity. In addition to that, new tools and techniques are continually being developed to advance this field. If you enjoy work that has continuously changing dynamics and offers lots of variety, welding is a good career choice.
No College Degree Needed
Most welding occupations do not require a college degree. A high school diploma, followed by vocational or on-the-job training is typically considered enough in this case. This saves a lot of cost and time associated with entering the job market through other occupations.
A career in welding is typically not a desk job. You will be working flexible hours, in different places. It will enable you to travel to multiple locations and interact with different people. You might also have to put in overtime or work on weekends when major project deadlines approach.