Starting Welding Training
If you are interested in welding, there are a number of paths to become a welder. Some people begin welding as more of a hobby, while others rely on it for a lucrative career. Either way it is important to identify the type of welding you are interested in doing and undergo training to ensure both safety and quality work. If you are just interested in welding in your free time, you can take a less intensive class at a local community college or a training school. Sometimes there are also training options available online that can teach you the basics for less complicated types of welding. We always recommend getting all of the training and equipment you need to ensure that you are safe regardless of whether you choose welding as a hobby or a career.
If you think welding might be a career choice that fits your skills and interests, it is important to consider a number of factors. As a professional welder, you can work in a variety of industries from shipyards to cell phone factories. There are also a number of different types of welding and welding jobs that you can choose from depending on the training you select. To become a welder, you need two things – training and experience. In order to select the kind of training you need and gain the right experience, it is important to first decide if welding is right for you and determine what kind of welding you want to do.
What It Takes to Be a Welder
Welding is an exciting field that people choose every year as their career; however it is not for everyone. While it may seem cool to be able to create your own BBQ or make awesome designs in metal, a welding career requires hard work and dedication. Quality welding is all about precision and detail. The best welders are very detail-oriented and focused to ensure their work is excellent each and every time. Given the number of different kinds of welding and things that need to be welded together, it is also a career that requires problem-solving skills. If you can pay attention and think on your feet, welding might be the right career for you.
Welders are often people who enjoy solving problems and discovering new ways to join materials. For that reason, the welding industry is constantly changing and evolving with new innovative techniques and methods. Because of the physical nature of the job, welders should also have strength and stamina in order to hold the heavy pieces of metal. Good hand-eye coordination and eyesight are also important traits that help welders succeed in their work.
Choosing a Type of Welding to Learn
If you have decided that welding is the career path for you, you next need to determine what kind of welding you want to do. Welders work in numerous industries and have tons of different types of jobs depending on their training and skillset. Beyond the more popular types of welding such as MIG welding, TIG welding, Stick welding and Flux core arc welding, there are a number of specialized kinds of welding. If you know what kind of welding you want to do, it can help you make an educated decision when choosing a training program.
In choosing the type of welding you want to learn, you should consider where you want to work. Do you see yourself working in construction or in manufacturing? Or are you more interested in a more specialized kind of welding working as an underwater welder? More specialized kinds of welding jobs take more training and experience; however, they also often pay more money. Balancing those two considerations is important to determining what kind of welding you are interested in doing. Taking a basic introductory welding course can give you an idea of what kind of welding might be right for you.
Finding a Welding Training Program
Choosing a training program is important to getting your new career off on the right foot. Most welding jobs require some kind of welding training and certification. The type of certification and the certification requires can vary from industry to industry and from state to state. Many states have specific requirements for passing different welding certifications. There are also different requirements depending on the type of career you want to have. If you are interested in becoming a welding engineer, a welding instructor or a welding inspector, you may need to undergo a more rigorous training and certification program than if you are just interested in becoming a welder.
After you have chosen the type of career you want in welding, look around for training programs in your area. Often local community colleges offer welding training as well as trade and career schools. In either case, it is important to understand the program that the school offers and what kinds of welding you will learn and the training you will receive. A good training school should be accredited in that state and provide job placement assistance after you graduate. Choosing an excellent training program is important to finding a job later on. If you are interested in becoming a basic welder, there are programs that you can complete in as few as nine months. At the end of your training, you will need to challenge the appropriate AWS certification, which includes a welding test and written portion.
Completing a Welding Apprenticeship
Many welding employers understand that new employees will need some on-the-job training in order to succeed. While the experience and training that you learn at a school is extremely valuable and important to finding a job, you often need more practice to become an expert at your craft. Sometimes companies have apprenticeship programs that expand on the training you got in school. Not all companies have these programs although many will still have some kind of informal training for new welders to learn on the job.
Welding apprenticeships are also a way for you to become a welder without paying for school and many are offered through labor unions. In an apprenticeship, you will typically do more entry level welding but learn and expand your skills over time. In exchange for the training and knowledge that the apprenticeship allows, you have to commit to a certain amount of time working. However, it is a great option if you don’t want to pay to go to school and want to still make money while learning on the job. Your time in the program will increase your experience and your skill level. Often these programs take at least three years to complete and at the end you are a “journeyman welder.”
Start Your Welding Training Today
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider if you are thinking about becoming a welder. We have just covered the basics in terms of learning to weld and getting experience. You may be interested in a more specialized type of welding that requires a completely different type of training. Regardless of the type of welding you want to do, it is important to do your research and find the program that is right for you. Start by reading about different welding jobs and then find one that interests you. Learn about the welding programs in your area, and when you have completed your training, find a great welding job with our online resources!