There are several excellent schools in the Lakin West Virginia area where you can learn to be a welder. Welding is a popular work choice because you can complete your basic certification in only a few months and be ready to earn a good living. If you enjoy building things and working with your hands and are a very detail-oriented person, then a future in welding may be for you! Welding is one of the few skilled trades where workers can earn a lucrative income with only a high school diploma and technical schooling. 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 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.
Lakin 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.
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. There are four major welding processes, including shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), also commonly known as stick welding. 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. 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. The consistently high demand makes this one of the strong-paying jobs that does not require an advanced university degree. 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!