Are you looking for a career change? Or, are you just graduating high school and aren’t sure what to do with your life?
Choosing your first career or making a big career change can be an overwhelming experience.
If you’re someone who enjoys working with their hands, we might have just the career for you — welding.
As a welder, you’ll work to repair, join, or cut metal parts and products. You’ll do this with either hand-held equipment or remotely-controlled equipment.
But, what exactly does it take to become a welder? Check out this guide to learn how to become a welder.
Although we touched briefly on the definition in the intro, let’s dive a little deeper into what a welder does.
As a welder, you’ll be trained to join metals. The metals you work with may include steel, brass, aluminum, or stainless steel. A wide variety of industries will depend on the metal products you produce, which is why the job of a welder is so important and why it requires very specific training.
Welders may find themselves working in the automobile industry, in shipyards, at construction sites, or at manufacturing companies. You may even get to take part in building bridges or aircraft.
Here are some of your duties as a welder:
Now that you know a little bit about the role of a welder, let’s dive into what it takes to become one.
In order to become a welder, you must follow these steps:
First things first, you must earn your high school diploma.
Some high schools even offer courses in welding and metal fabrication, so if your school offers these, you should definitely take full advantage.
While not mandatory for a career in welding, these courses will help provide the basic foundation of the training that’s to come.
Also, because welders spend a good amount of time measuring and calculating the products they create, it’s important that you do well in your math and science classes.
If you haven’t already earned your high school diploma, you can always go back and get your GED.
After graduating from high school, you have a few different options.
The first option is to earn an associate’s degree in welding. This degree will take two years and will mostly consist of face-to-face courses. The total cost of your associate’s degree will depend on where you live and what school you choose, but in general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 to $60,000.
If you go to a school in-state, you can expect to pay significantly lower tuition.
The other option is to earn a certificate in welding. A certificate program usually lasts for six to eighteen months. A certification program can cost as little as $3,500 and as much as $20,000.
Lastly, you can also earn a welding engineering bachelor’s degree. This program lasts for four years. If you plan to advance your career in welding, we strongly recommend getting a bachelor’s degree.
If you can’t find any welding bachelor’s degrees in your area, you may also want to consider earning your bachelor’s degree in a science field or math field. Then, upon graduation, attending a certificate program for welding.
After completing your education, it’s time to participate in an apprenticeship.
An apprenticeship is a great way for you to gain knowledge as well as hands-on experience about your future career. Plus, this gives you a great opportunity to start earning some money and to get your foot in the door with a welding company.
To find an apprenticeship, you should contact local welding companies or ask your school for some contacts.
After completing an apprenticeship, it’s time to become officially certified as a welder.
There are a handful of different welding certifications available. These include:
If you need help preparing for these exams, we suggest checking out the NDT testing site.
After completing your certification, it’s time to find full-time employment.
Many welders find employment through the company they did their apprenticeship with. However, if you’re looking to work somewhere else, we suggest checking job boards online.
The BLS projects a 3 percent job growth for welders over the next ten years, which is a bit slower than the national average. However, don’t let this discourage you, as jobs are still opening up all the time. And if you’re persistent, you’ll soon find the welding job of your dreams.
By following the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a welder.
And, if you liked this article, be sure to check back in with our blog. We are constantly coming out with more career-related tips and tricks for people in every field.
Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. Frankly and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact firstname.lastname@example.org