So You Want to be a Welder, eh?
Fast becoming one of the most in demand job markets, welding makes a great career for those who may already list it as a hobby. Yet, whether you have just ventured into welding or are a seasoned enthusiast, you may be stuck on how to make the leap from a garage craftsman to a professional welder. Because of the expanding market and advancing technology, to be a truly successful welder, one needs to have credentials. In the past, one may have been able to get by on experience alone, but today that isn’t enough, as the best in the business not only have the book knowledge and certifications, but apprenticeships and hours on the job as well. That’s why it is imperative to graduate from an established welding program.
Luckily, in response to the need for welders, there are now many places for you to earn an Associate Degree in welding, with courses being offered in trade schools, community colleges, and Universities around the nation and the world. After you have made the decision to head down this career path, the first site you should become familiar with is that of the American Welding Society at: http://www.aws.org/w/a/index.html. Here, you can not only search their database to find an accredited welding school program for you to enter into, but also read up on exactly what tests you will need to prepare for and other certification guidelines. Additionally, when the time comes for you to find a welding job and embark on a welding career, there are welding job postings, convention listings, and a vast array of other resources available.
So what will you expect at a welding school? Well, you will begin by taking the basic courses necessary for an Associate’s Degree, practicing the general craft of welding and familiarizing yourself with multiple different materials and applications. You will then be tested on all you have learned and your ability to correctly master each technique and prove you are qualified to graduate. After gaining your diploma the next step will be apprenticeship, where you will work closely under an experienced welder, logging enough hours to then work on your own. Throughout the process you will learn the different niche welding careers, and from there decide just what direction you will continue on.
There are further certification courses unique to the varying welding jobs, as some require you to continue your education. As with any developing technology and trade, it is best to remain current with the latest information, and that is why even veteran welders will take refresher courses or update their accolades. The world of welding careers offers to you the unique opportunity to take your hobby and parlay that into an exciting job that could potentially have you working under water or to the far reaches of the globe. But the first step is finding a welding school near you, so go online to the American Welding Society’s database: http://www.aws.org/w/sense/. You’re future in welding is waiting!