There are several excellent schools in the Bowdoin ME area where you can learn to be a welder. Welding is a popular work choice because you can complete your basic certification in only a few months and be ready to earn a good living. If you enjoy building things and working with your hands and are a very detail-oriented person, then a future in welding may be for you! Welding is one of the few skilled trades where workers can earn a lucrative income with only a high school diploma and technical schooling. Employment opportunities and pay depend on the welding skills you have mastered and whether you are willing to travel. Experienced welders can find work all over the world. Welding opportunities can be found on construction projects, oil pipelines, railway projects, and building ships. It is a physically demanding profession that often requires lifting heavy tools and working in cramped conditions. Careful attention to safety is a critical component of the trade. Most training programs of industrial welding require students to have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent education, or experience. High school classes in metalwork and welding are a good foundation for entering a welder training program.
Bowdoin Maine has both diploma and associate degree welding programs available. Basic training can be completed in a few weeks, while a comprehensive welding diploma program takes 4-9 months. The Associate of Applied Science(A.A.S.) degree in welding requires two years of classroom work and practical training in all welding processes. The associate degree includes general education classes in applied math, social sciences, and writing. Associate degree holders have a strong understanding of welding science and theory, as well as skills to pursue industry jobs in management, sales, and skills training. Apprentice welders can also work while they learn the skills to become certified. Apprentices are paid less than certified journeyman welders and must spend more years on the job than those with diplomas or degrees before becoming certified. Many welders that begin working after completing their basic training return to school to earn additional certifications and qualify for higher-paying jobs. Becoming a certified journeyman welder can take from 4 to 15 years.
When applying for a job a welder will normally be required to pass a certification test specific to the work to be done before being hired. Certification is specific to one of the four welding processes, such as shielded metal arc welding(SMAW), commonly called stick welding. 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.
Technology and the needs of the welding industry have also created a number of highly-specialized jobs with good wages. Robotic welding machine operators are becoming increasingly common in pipeline and building construction. Certified welding inspectors that use x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic sensors to inspect welds are also in high demand.
Major industries such as automotive repair, shipbuilding, aerospace, and pipeline construction are in constant need of qualified welders. 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!