Welder training programs are available at several Blue Goose West Virginia 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. The amount you earn depends largely on the skills you have mastered and your willingness to work in isolated areas and under difficult conditions. Skilled welders can find work all over the world and many travel extensively. A wide range of industries including ship building, pipelines, railways, and commercial construction all employ a large number of welders. Welding often involves working in confined spaces, carrying heavy tools and requires good physical fitness. Safety is very important in every type of welding job. 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.
Blue Goose West Virginia 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. 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.
Large employers in the welding industry will normally require applicants to pass a skill certification test specific to the work to be done. Certification is specific to one of the four welding processes, such as shielded metal arc welding(SMAW), commonly called stick welding. Using a specific process, welders are tested on their ability to complete a weld in a specific situation defined by the type, size and shape of the metal, type of weld, and the position the welder is in.
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. The consistently high demand makes this one of the strong-paying jobs that does not require an advanced university degree. Not many jobs allow as much mobility and flexibility as professional welding, it could very well be the perfect career for you!