Pride Louisiana has several trade schools that offer training to become a welder. Becoming a welder is a popular choice for many people looking to begin earning money soon because the basic training to start can be completed in just a few weeks. If you enjoy physical work, have steady hands, and are very detail-oriented, you are well-suited to a career as a welder. Highly skilled welders working in isolated locations can earn a great salary. It is one of the few trades that you can enter after high school that allow you to make a very respectable compensation. 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.
Pride LA 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. 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. 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. Certificates have a code based on the shape of the metal piece, type of weld, and the position of the welder relative to the work, such as overhead or obstructed view.
Within the welding industry there are also many specialized jobs. Robotic welding machine operator is a highly technical specialty that is becoming increasingly common in pipeline and structural welding. Welding inspectors are certified in the use of non-invasive methods, such as magnetic resonance, x-rays, and ultrasound to assess the strength and porosity of the weld.
Major industries from bridge and high-rise construction to motorsports, military support, and ship-building are in constant need of qualified welders. It is one of the few jobs where a skilled tradesman can earn on par with highly respected professions. A professional career in this industry will allow you to travel, all the while earning a solid income; not many jobs can compete with that!