Welder training programs are available at several Iola Texas 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. 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. To enroll in an industrial welding program, you will need to have completed high school and earned your high school diploma or have a GED or equivalent education. High school welding and metal-working courses are helpful for preparing you to enter a welder certification or degree program.
Basic training to earn a diploma, specialized certification classes, and associate degree programs are available in Iola Texas. Diploma programs can last anywhere from 4-9 months while some specific certificate training programs can take as little as a few weeks. 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.
Employers will look at your qualifications and experience first, but in many cases will also require you to pass a test specific to the work to be done. Certificates cover all four welding processes including mig, tig, flux core, and stick welding, also known as shielded metal arc welding(SMAW). 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. 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!