Welding Careers in the Military
With America's military heavily engaged overseas, there is a definite demand for skilled trades in all four branches of the Military, particularly for welders. And best of all, the military will not only provide you with top-notch training and education, they will also put you to work on real-world projects that will help you gain practical experience in the welding trade.
Once you fulfill your military commitment, you'll emerge with a high quality welding education, and the on-the-job training you need to land a great civilian job, and launch your welding career. In many cases, the welding specialization to which you are assigned as part of your duty service (fabricating parts, automobile repair, building ships, etc…) will put you ahead of the game in the civilian world, by giving you the practical experience necessary to pursue a particular career track in the welding industry.
Welding Jobs by Military Branch
Army welders are called upon to work in machine and repair shops, in addition to performing on-site construction and repair work in the field.
Machine and repair shops fabricate parts and make repairs for tanks, jeeps and other vehicles and equipment. In some cases, Army welders are called upon to make equipment and vehicle repairs in the field, as well as working on bridges and other construction projects, and structural repairs.
Many, regardless of their branch affiliations, consider the Navy to be the premier training ground for welders. The other three branches send most enlisted welding students to a welding school at the Aberdeen ordinance proving ground in Maryland. The Navy, however, has it's own welding school in the shipyards of Norfolk Virginia.
Hull Technician is one of the most commonly sought after welding positions, providing welders with the best training and practical experience the military has to offer.
Similar to Army welders, Navy welders also work in machine and repair shops, fabricating parts and performing repairs and maintenance in the field.
In addition to all of the tasks performed by Army welders, Air Force welders also work on aircraft. With the sophisticated nature of many of today's aircraft, however, there is less aircraft related work than you might think. Often, parts are simply replaced instead of repaired, and certain, highly critical, projects are farmed out to civilian repair shops staffed by specialized technicians.
The Marines are the smallest and most combat focused of the US Military's four branches of service. In comparison to the other branches, the Marines have a significantly smaller number of individuals involved in skilled trades. Referred to as Military Occupational Specialization (MOS), Marines who are assigned to a welding MOS may end up working with another branch, depending on their particular deployment, and therefore experience a full range of welding projects, potentially learning the specializations unique to each branch.
Starting off your welding career in the military can be a great way to go for many prospective welders, because you not only receive excellent training, free of charge, but your welding knowledge and savvy grows due to several years of practical, on-the-job experience. And this combination of education and practical experience can help you secure a great welding job once you complete your military commitment.