Welder training programs are available at several Apache Oklahoma 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. A high school diploma, GED or equivalent education, or experience are normally required to enroll in a welder training program. If your high school offers metalwork or welding classes, these are excellent courses to prepare you for a welding diploma program or associates degree.
Apache Oklahoma 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. Two-year associate degree programs include additional general education classes, as well as extensive theory practical training in welding. Classes in writing, English, sociology, and applied math are included in the program. Associate degrees prepare students for all types of industrial welding, plus possible careers in management, sales, and vocational training. 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.
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. Certificates cover all four welding processes including mig, tig, flux core, and stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding(SMAW). Each certificate is further specialized based on the type of metal, shape, type of weld, and the position of the welder relative to the work, such as overhead and obstructed view.
Many specialized welders are able to earn a good income. One specialty that is becoming more common, particularly in pipeline and structural welding, is robotic welding machine operator. Non-destructive welding inspectors use x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic sensors to inspect welds.
Welders are in high demand in a number of major industries including shipbuilding, pipeline construction, aerospace, and automotive repair. 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!