Biggs OR has several excellent schools offering welding certification classes. The basic training can be completed in just a few weeks and then a welder can start working. Successful prospects must be very detail-oriented and good at building things with their hands. While entry level welders and apprentices may only earn entry-level salaries, highly skilled welders at isolated job sites may be paid much more. Welding is one of the few jobs where skilled tradesmen can earn a very respectable living. 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. 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. Some enter the trade by becoming an apprentice welder. Apprentice welders must work for more years in an entry-level job than those with welding diplomas or associate degrees. Welders that complete basic training before beginning to work often return to school to train for more advanced certifications. Completing the training and experience requirements to become a 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. Certifications cover the most common welding processes including shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and others, known as mig, tig, and flux core. 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.
There are also several specialized fields in welding with opportunities for high-paying careers. Highly-skilled 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.
Welders are in high demand in a number of major industries including shipbuilding, pipeline construction, aerospace, and automotive repair. As demand continues to exceed supply, skilled welders have the enviable position of being able to pick and choose jobs based on the type of work they like to do, where they would like to live, and how much they would like to earn. If you’ve been considering a highly-fulfilling career with a solid earning potential, then welding may be for you!