There are several excellent schools in the Opportunity MT 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 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.
Basic training to earn a diploma, specialized certification classes, and associate degree programs are available in Opportunity MT. Diploma programs can last anywhere from 4-9 months while some specific certificate training programs can take as little as a few weeks. The Associate of Applied Science(A.A.S.) degree in welding requires two years of classroom work and practical training in all welding processes. The associate degree includes general education classes in applied math, social sciences, and writing. Associate degree holders have a strong understanding of welding science and theory, as well as skills to pursue industry jobs in management, sales, and skills training. 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. Certification is specific to one of the four welding processes, such as shielded metal arc welding(SMAW), commonly called 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.
Within the welding industry there are also many specialized jobs. Robotic welding machine operators are becoming increasingly common in pipeline and building construction. Non-destructive welding inspectors use x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic sensors to inspect welds.
Major industries such as automotive repair, shipbuilding, aerospace, and pipeline construction are in constant need of qualified welders. Skilled welders have their pick of industries and location depending on the type of work they like to do, where they want to live and how much they would like to earn. Not many careers are as fulfilling and rewarding as professional welding, it may just be the job for you!