There are several excellent schools in the Pitkin CO 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. Your welding skills and willingness to travel and work in isolated locations are the main factors that determine how much you can earn. Many welders enter the field to take advantage of the opportunities to travel. A wide variety of industries from farming to ship building, and real estate development to pipeline construction, employ a large number of welders. The physical demands of the job include carrying heavy tools, working in confined spaces, and working outdoors in extreme heat or cold. In order to minimize injuries, it is very important for welders to emphasize safety while on the 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.
Pitkin CO 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 in welding technology will prepare graduates for a wide range of industrial welding jobs. Associate degrees include classes in writing, math, and social sciences. Graduates with an associate degree have a good foundation in all welding processes, as well as skills to pursue industry-specific jobs in management, sales, and 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Welders are in high demand in a number of major industries including shipbuilding, pipeline construction, aerospace, and automotive repair. 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. If you’ve been considering a highly-fulfilling career with a solid earning potential, then welding may be for you!