Welding Programs

welders and machinists

Trade Schools with Welding Programs

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Welders are experts in the fusion of metal and thermoplastics. Their job is to apply large amounts of heat to metal pieces in order to melt and join them into specific forms. There are over 50,000 people with welding careers in the United States.

Many aspects of modern society require the joining of metal parts, both small and large. Lighter, stronger, and less expensive than bolting, welding is an extremely effective way to join two pieces of strong material. There is a huge demand for workers willing to endure the challenges and difficulties of this important career.

Salary

Below is a list of salaries and wages per state.

Area Name Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Alabama $22.09 $45,950.00
Alaska $34.51 $71,790.00
Arizona $24.77 $51,510.00
Arkansas $20.63 $42,910.00
California $26.58 $55,290.00
Colorado $25.75 $53,550.00
Connecticut $27.55 $57,300.00
Delaware $25.88 $53,830.00
District of Columbia $29.22 $60,780.00
Florida $22.45 $46,690.00
Georgia $21.55 $44,820.00
Hawaii $33.89 $70,500.00
Idaho $22.41 $46,610.00
Illinois $23.24 $48,350.00
Indiana $22.43 $46,660.00
Iowa $22.44 $46,680.00
Kansas $23.30 $48,460.00
Kentucky $22.07 $45,910.00
Louisiana $27.55 $57,310.00
Maine $25.32 $52,670.00
Maryland $26.59 $55,300.00
Massachusetts $27.66 $57,530.00
Michigan $22.05 $45,870.00
Minnesota $25.44 $52,910.00
Mississippi $23.75 $49,400.00
Missouri $22.85 $47,540.00
Montana $24.03 $49,990.00
Nebraska $22.58 $46,960.00
Nevada $24.49 $50,950.00
New Hampshire $25.08 $52,160.00
New Jersey $27.66 $57,530.00
New Mexico $27.04 $56,250.00
New York $26.40 $54,910.00
North Carolina $23.36 $48,590.00
North Dakota $27.95 $58,130.00
Ohio $22.66 $47,120.00
Oklahoma $22.78 $47,370.00
Oregon $25.26 $52,530.00
Pennsylvania $24.17 $50,270.00
Puerto Rico $12.94 $26,900.00
Rhode Island $28.63 $59,550.00
South Carolina $21.62 $44,970.00
South Dakota $21.32 $44,350.00
Tennessee $21.72 $45,180.00
Texas $25.24 $52,500.00
Utah $24.35 $50,650.00
Vermont $22.87 $47,570.00
Virgin Islands $25.05 $52,100.00
Virginia $25.91 $53,890.00
Washington $29.04 $60,410.00
West Virginia $23.85 $49,610.00
Wisconsin $25.39 $52,800.00
Wyoming $31.60 $65,730.00

source: data.bls.gov
Occupation:Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers(SOC Code514121); Period:May 2022

Those who work in hazardous conditions or dangerous areas can potentially make over $100k per year. Underwater workers, industrial pipeline welders, and military welders are among the highest-paid people in the profession.

Career Overview

What is Welding?

Welders fuse steel beams to piece together bridges, buildings, and countless other cornerstones of modern society. Their skills are needed to join pipes in important places like power plants and water treatment facilities.

In arc welding, there is no solder or filler component; the pieces themselves are heated up and melted together. Offshoots of the welding trade, soldering and brazing deal with different types of situations than welding and usually require different approaches.

What Goes into Welding Processes?

Based on a number of variables, welders use electricity to apply specific temperatures to metal. Varying precise levels of heat are applied depending on the specific metal being welded.Pieces are strategically placed together in order to properly settle for maximum bonding strength. Cooling temperatures and times also play a huge factor in the durability of the weld.

What Are Some Common Welding Tools?

Workers in this diverse field utilize a variety of tools and techniques to get the job done. Some use hand-held equipment such as arc welders. A few of the more common welding tools include the following:

  • Measuring tools
  • Metal shapers
  • Cutters
  • Wire brushes
  • Auto-darkening helmets
  • Chipping hammers
  • Timers

What Are Some Common Welding Methods?

The types of equipment needed also depends on the method of welding being used. These are some common welding methods used by professionals:

  • Shielded metal
  • Flux cored
  • Gas metal
  • Gas tungsten
  • Plasma arc
  • Laser
  • Electron beam

Automated welding is a growing trend, used in almost one fourth of commercial projects. Some of today’s more powerful welding techniques use electron beams and lasers, requiring the use of robotic arms for safety purposes. To control these machines, operators need advanced training which can last several weeks.

Job Description

An entry-level welder should expect to perform the following tasks:

  • Discuss the needs of the client
  • Determine how to most efficiently accomplish the client’s requests
  • Use high-powered tools to join and separate metal objects
  • Precisely follow drawings and blueprints from engineers
  • Make very accurate measurements
  • Cooperate with possible travel requirements

What is the Work Environment Like?

New hires will have to learn how to safely operate welding equipment, which could take weeks. Associates must be professional, reliable, fearless, and willing to work long hours.

For higher-paying jobs, employers prefer hiring people who have had some sort of postsecondary training.

Upon entering the workforce, recruits may be surprised at the amount of required overtime. Mandatory work during nights or weekends can be exhausting and may turn some away from the business.

When a job needs to get finished, welders usually stay until the duty is complete.

Welding is an extremely physical trade. Candidates should expect long hours of bending, crouching, and standing. They will spend extended periods focusing their vision at fixed positions.

Getting used to moving around while wearing protective gear can be a challenge in itself. Colleagues encounter grease, paint, and dirt while working with metals of various types and purposes.

Hazards

Welders must avoid burns and electrical shock by dangerous tools such as the arc. Associates work with extremely hot metals and thermoplastics, risking injury by routine.

The harsh brightness produced from scalding sparks damages the vision of those nearby. This is why welders and surrounding colleagues must always wear heavy protective gear, including:

Where Can They Find Employment?

A robust set of welding skills is applicable to hundreds of full-time jobs across a wide range of crucial industries and occupations:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Race car crew
  • Automobile repair
  • Aeronautics and space travel
  • Shipbuilding industry
  • Robotics
  • Cruise ship companies
  • Underwater welding job projects
  • Welders also repair pipes and steel beams during industrial plant shutdowns.

What Are Useful Qualities for Welders?

  • Knowledge of trigonometry and metallurgy
  • Capability of staying calm under pressure
  • Concentration and dexterity; steady hands
  • The aptitude to follow directions
  • Ability to follow engineering drawings and blueprints
  • A habit of maintaining high standards
  • Precise measuring skills
  • Comfort with the use of advanced power tools

Are There Requirements for Welding Jobs?

Entry-level work often requires no welding classes, which is great for those looking to get into the trade. While a high school diploma or GED is usually needed, many companies offer paid on-site training for willing recruits.

When looking to get trained and certified, trade schools are another option. Finishing one will give you more options when looking for jobs. On average, a welding certificate only takes about nine months to earn. This is why so many people looking for a new career consider enrolling in welding school.

Reputable welding training can come from many sources:

  • Community colleges
  • Technical institutes
  • State employment services
  • Vocational centers
  • Junior colleges
  • Newspaper ads
  • Temp agencies
  • Union offices
  • Private schools
  • The U.S. Armed Forces
  • A reputable welding trade school

Beyond the general welding certification, some jobs require further credentials. For example, becoming a robotic arm welder or welding inspector each require separate training and clearances. Many companies will pay for their workers to gain additional credentials, removing the financial burden from the employee.

What Are Alternate Careers for Welders?

Cutter

People who use heat to cut and form metal into specific sizes are called cutters. They use many of the same tools as welders, such as electric arcs.

Rather than joining pieces together like a welder, cutters focus only on shaping and carving metal. At times, they may have to deconstruct or dismantle large things like cars, aircraft, or buildings. They do this by strategically carving apart metal beams one by one.

Soldering technician

These workers join delicate metal components with molten solder. They also fill indents, seams, and holes in metal structures and devices.

Their work is a bit safer than that of welders and brazers, as they do not melt the actual joining pieces themselves. The solder material they use is typically an alloy of lead and tin, melting at a relatively low temperature.

Soldering technicians often work with small electrical components and help to build computer circuit boards. They must be detail-oriented and able to work with tiny pieces for hours on end. In most cases they earn hourly wages somewhere between $10 and $20.

Some commonly-used professional soldering techniques include:

Thru-hole
Surface mount
Traditional hand soldering

Brazer

Brazing is kind of like high-heat soldering. While the melting point of soldering metals are below 840 degrees Fahrenheit, brazing involves heating metals with a greater melting point. Oftentimes, brazing materials are alloys of zinc and copper.

Usually, brazers will first heat metal pieces to a desired temperature and then place their filler material between the joining section. The hot metal then softens the filler to solidify the connection.

Workers in this profession usually begin with a salary package around $30k per year, which can only go up from there.

Brazing is used to do the following:

  • Protect against the wear and tear or corrosion of metal parts
  • Connect thin metals such as cast iron that would warp if welded

Related

Becoming a Welder in CA

Becoming a Welder in NC

Becoming a Welder in PA

Becoming a Welder in TX