Welder training programs are available at several Blooming Prairie MN area vocational schools. Becoming a welder is a popular choice because the basic training necessary to start earning a living can be completed in just a few weeks. People that enjoy building things, have steady hands, and pay attention to details make good welders. Welders can earn their living based on their skills and location. Welders are some of the few skilled tradesmen that can earn as much money as other very respectable professions. Exceptional welding skills and the willingness to work in extreme climates and isolated locations plays a large part in how much a welder can earn. Job openings for welders are available globally. Opportunities exist in dozens of industries, from aerospace and railways, to building ships and pipelines. The physical demands of carrying heavy tools and working in difficult positions means welders have to be physically fit. Safety is also extremely important because welding can be a dangerous job. Most welder training programs require you to have your high school diploma or equivalent to enroll. High school or evening adult classes in welding and metalwork are a good foundation if they are available.
There are several different welding school programs to choose from. Basic industrial welding techniques can be learned in as little as a few weeks, while comprehensive welding diploma courses can take from 4-9 months. A 2-year associate degree, called an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in welding technology will prepare you for work in the welding and metal fabrication industries. Associate degrees require additional general education courses like writing, speaking, math, and social sciences. In addition to having basic welding skills and a strong understanding of the science and theory of welding, associate degree holders can pursue professions in welding industry management, equipment and supply sales, and vocational schools. Welders can also enter the field as apprentices and learn while working. Apprentice welders may work for relatively low wages for many years before gaining enough experience to become fully certified. In many cases welders will secure work after receiving basic training and then return from time to time to complete their instruction in additional processes and specialized applications. Becoming a certified journeyman welder can take from 4-15 years.
There are hundreds of specialized welding certificate tests used by employers to select applicants able to perform the specific skills needed for the job. Certifications cover the most common welding processes including shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and others, known as mig, tig, and flux core. For each process there are certifications based on the shape and type of metal, weld type, and the position the welder is in while completing the weld.
Many specialized welders are able to earn a good income. Robotic welding machine operator is a highly technical specialty that is becoming increasingly common in pipeline and structural welding. Certified welding inspectors that use x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic sensors to inspect welds are also in high demand.
Welders are in high demand in a number of major industries including shipbuilding, pipeline construction, aerospace, and automotive repair. The consistently high demand makes this one of the strong-paying jobs that does not require an advanced university degree. If you’ve been considering a highly-fulfilling career with a solid earning potential, then welding may be for you!